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Ultrafast Broadband Helps Fuel the Top 20 UK Places to Start a Business

Tuesday, Sep 19th, 2017 (2:08 pm) - Score 786

A new study from business support firm Informi claims to have identified some of top 20 best cities and large towns in the United Kingdom to start a small business, with Ipswich (Suffolk) taking the top spot. Interestingly one of the key criteria is a strong level of access to “ultrafast broadband“.

A new business is launched in the UK every minute, but for every success story there’s also a failure. New small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will of course stand a better chance if they setup in an area that gives them the best possible start in life.

According to Informi, the best start equates to an area with low pollution levels, high levels of “ultrafast broadband“, low rates of business closures, reasonable property prices and a strong proportionate number of patent applications to highlight entrepreneurial spirit etc.

The Top 20 Best UK Places to Start a New Business (SME)
1. Ipswich
2. Dundee
3. Derby
4. Cambridge
5. Brighton
6. Portsmouth
7. Oxford
8. Gloucester
9. Mansfield
10. Burnley
11. Birkenhead
12. Nottingham
13. Plymouth
14. Blackburn
15. Bristol
16. Coventry
17. Wigan
18. Exeter
19. Worthing
20. Edinburgh

Informi states that high levels of access to ultrafast broadband were one of the key reasons why Ipswich came top of their table. The large town certainly does have good coverage of both Openreach’s “superfastFTTC (VDSL2) network, as well as Virgin Media’s ultrafast cable platform and that’s true for many of the other entries too.

Sadly London is said to have fallen well outside of the top table (no. 38), even though the city does manage some good “ultrafast” coverage, albeit thanks primarily to Virgin Media and operators like Hyperoptic. However a few key parts of London are still poorly served, especially in several gaps around the central area.

Unfortunately the full report doesn’t appear to be available on the company’s website (at least we couldn’t find it), which means that we can’t see precisely how they’ve gauged and weighted all of the various different factors. Likewise there’s no clarity on the report’s definition of “ultrafast broadband” or what constitutes a high level of access.

Darren Nicholls, Informi’s Product Manager, said:

“Small and medium sized businesses throughout the UK create many thousands of new businesses in every town and city every year. This brings new jobs, prosperity and growth to local communities whilst benefiting the wider economy too.

It is encouraging to see that there are a variety of environments where small businesses can do well, but for every success story there are still far too many failures, where businesses have been unable to survive and thrive.”

At this point Darren reminds us of their vested interest by highlighting his company’s related guidance and advice services, although what we’d really like to see is the detail behind their study and a breakdown of the results for each of the 63 large towns and cities surveyed.

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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