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UK Businesses Call for More Action to Boost Superfast Broadband Uptake

Monday, Sep 16th, 2013 (2:03 am) - Score 447

A new report from KPMG and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called upon the government to boost funding and speed-up delivery of national infrastructure projects around the United Kingdom, although most firms said they were positive about the state of broadband connectivity.

The report, which covers everything from the road network to aviation and the costs of HS2 (high speed trains), also includes a survey of 526 business leaders. Overall 65% of those felt that the government’s current policies would have no tangible impact.

John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said:

Quality infrastructure is vital for boosting exports, unlocking business investment across the UK, and supporting our leading firms – an essential element of a meaningful industrial strategy.

I know that ministers share my enthusiasm for progress, but Government has talked the talk on infrastructure for the last two years with too few signs of action.

The faltering speed of delivery on infrastructure creates a worrying sense that politicians lack the political will to tackle some of the major issues head-on.

We can’t afford any further delay. The Coalition must show strong leadership and prove that the UK can deliver on a small number of projects over the next 18 months and reach a much-needed consensus on bigger issues such as aviation and roads reform.”

But encouragingly many firms do see progress being made on the UK’s digital infrastructure, which businesses consider to be just as important as transport and energy. For example, 83% of firms said they had seen an improvement in the country’s digital infrastructure over the past 5 years and 77% felt that this aspect of the UK either matched or exceeded other countries.

In terms of standard fixed line broadband, 85% of businesses view the service as either matching or exceeded the quality of what is available in other countries. But this falls to 65% for the latest generation of superfast broadband services and then 63% for Mobile Broadband.

So what can we do better? Generally, 71% of businesses said they already understood the benefits of greater digital connectivity but 46% believe that their firms could still be making better use of the UK’s digital networks. The CBI also suggests that raising awareness and take-up of digital services could boost the UK economy to the tune of £18 billion a year by helping more firms to sell and market themselves online.

The study appears to support the government’s investment in helping to educate businesses about faster broadband and to assist in getting some of them connected to faster connections (only available in certain cities – Connection Vouchers).

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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