Did you kow that 94% of small business owners consider a reliable Internet connectivity critical to the success of their business? A survey carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) 1 discovered this, plus it reported that many small businesses consider lack of reliable and fast broadband connectivity to be their main barrier of growth.
We’ve been reading up on stats and facts from the industry after recently becoming a partner of CityFibre, who endeavour to upgrade towns and cities to ‘Gigabit Cities’ and have had great success in areas such as Bristol, Edinburgh and Peterborough. They build, design, own and maintain their fibre network and they offer an alternative infrastructure to competitors such as Openreach and Virgin.
Building on our previous Wessex Internet experience connecting rural and poorly served areas, the Giganet team are experienced in coordinating schemes and using available vouchers to extend networks and get faster, more reliable connections to those who need them. This is also partially dependent on locals driving up interest in their communities and amongst their neighbours. We’re confident that the work we intend to do as a CityFibre partner will upgrade the connections for some of the businesses in the 50% of business parks that are reportedly unable to access speeds above 10Mb/s2.
To most businesses, a reliable and fast connection is critical, as we increasingly move towards cloud storage, online processes and VoIP communications, all of which are dependent on our Internet connectivity. Research from Virgin Media Business2 states that each SME employee loses 15 minutes every day due to slow broadband connections! The BBC3 reported on a survey carried out by Samsung on 1000 office workers, which discovered that a staggering 92% of respondents said crashing computers and slow Internet annoyed them and caused them to lose almost 30 minutes on average, each working day.
A new Gigabit voucher scheme launched by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport on 1st of April aims to help SMEs upgrade their Internet connections to be Gigabit capable. The scheme offers up to £3,000 towards the installation costs of such a connection. So, there’s no better time to investigate your options, especially if you’re one of the 25% of small firms that say they’re ‘fairly or very dissatisfied’ with their current broadband provision1 OR are one of the 45,000 small businesses that were reported to rely on dial-up connections.1
If you’re thinking that your business doesn’t need gigabit speeds right now, don’t let that hold you back! The voucher is to get a gigabit capable connection installed, meaning that as long as the new line is able to deliver a gigabit, even if this is not the package you choose, you can claim the voucher. This allows you to future proof your business connectivity needs as the requirement for more bandwidth continues to soar, plus you can have it subsidised by up to £3,000!
Lastly, to give you some examples of what we mean by a gigabit capable connection please see below:
- A CityFibre connection (direct or connect) but perhaps you only initially take a package with 500mb/s or 100mb/s on it, but their fibre line installed makes it possible for you to easily upgrade the bandwidth to a gigabit.
- If you’re not in a CityFibre ‘Gigabit City’ we can still help you with our Giganet Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) or Fibre To The Premises on Demand (FTTPoD) options (dependant on area availability). For FTTP/FTTPoD, when using the Gigabit voucher scheme, we can offer download speeds from up to 160Mb/s.
- If you need a dedicated connection and you want a leased line you can also claim a voucher for this, as long as the bearer is 1GB, yet you can have speeds from 100mb/s on that bearer. Your business will still be eligible because your line will be capable of delivering a gigabit.
Click here to find out more about the Gigabit Voucher scheme and what this could mean for your business.
By Amy Carlin
1Federation of Small Businesses
2Virgin Media Business
3BBC Report on Samsung Office Workers Survey