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ISP Zen Internet Study Reveals UK Business Broadband Habits and Demands

Posted: 08th Oct, 2010 By: MarkJ
uk zen internet business ispISP Zen Internet , in partnership with Computing, has released a new White Paper ('Next Generation Networks – Coping with application growth') that uses a survey of over 200 senior IT strategists at UK organisations of all sizes to reveal some fascinating information about adoption and broadband use.

It reveals that use of the Internet for email and to provide a web presence has become almost universal. However, almost three quarters of survey respondents also reported that they were using it to support remote and mobile working, using a variety of Virtual Private Network (VPN) technologies to securely tunnel data and connect remote workers with office-based resources.

In addition, 83% said that they were using their Internet connections to share information and communicate with customers, suppliers and partners. The fact that a majority of companies already use the Internet as a collaboration tool apparently came as something of a surprise.

uk business internet services 2010

Cloud Computing (i.e. remotely hosted data and internet services) is also proving to be quite popular, with 80% of the companies surveyed choosing to implement gateway security (anti-virus scanning, anti-spam filtering, content filtering etc.) this way.

A surprisingly large number (64%) also claimed to use hosted office productivity services, such as Google Docs, Microsoft Web Apps and Zoho. These services allow users to create, edit and share documents via a web browser rather than have to use local applications (e.g. Microsoft Office).

Perhaps of most interest was the chart that showed which broadband internet connection and Local Area Network (LAN) solutions are being used in the UK. Businesses could select more than one option, which makes sense because most firms would have a local network and two internet connections (one or more for backup).

uk business internet and lan connectivity 2010

It comes as no surprise whatsoever to find that 8Mbps and 20Mbps ADSL broadband connectivity remains incredibly popular, which is at least partly attributable to its low price and high availability. Clearly many businesses are also making more effective use of wireless networking too.

However the paper warns that simply beefing up bandwidth with faster fibre optic broadband solutions is unlikely to do much more than ease existing network strain. As well as increased bandwidth, the kind of applications identified above require a more intelligent use of Wide Area Network (WAN) infrastructure.

That apparently means employing Quality of Service (QoS) and packet prioritisation technologies to recognise different traffic types and deliver appropriate levels of performance according to the needs of the applications involved, among other things.
Next Generation Networks – Coping with application growth
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