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UK ISP Eclipse Internet Finds SMEs Unaware of their Broadband Usage Allowances

Posted: 16th Aug, 2011 By: MarkJ
eclipse internetA new study of 204 UK small and medium sized businesses by broadband ISP Eclipse Internet has discovered that 18% don't know whether their data usage is limited by their provider, 53% didn't know what high latency was or how it would affect their network and, most surprisingly of all, only 47% knew that the speed of data transfer is measured in Megabits per second (to be fair you can measure it in other things too, such as Gigabits for example).

The survey, which was designed to test SME's on their technical knowledge of the internet, did at least discover that the vast majority (83%) of firms recognised how bandwidth related to data transfer capabilities. Thank god for that.

Simon Harper, Head of Marketing at Eclipse, said:

"Whilst it’s great to see SMEs have a good knowledge of the speed of the internet and recognise how fast data transfer can occur, it’s worrying that there is still confusion amongst some as to whether their connection is limited in any way.

Usage caps and also the latency of the network that a company uses can impact on performance. With so many smaller companies making use of hosting services and cloud computing, it’s vital that their connections don’t hamper their use of important business applications.

ISPs have a duty to be transparent about what the various terms relating to connection speeds, data usage allowances and network latency mean to ensure SMEs clearly understand what they are getting for their money."

Eclipse claims that its survey has revealed a worrying weakness in SME understanding and knowledge, which is important because "exceeding any limitations can have serious consequences" for small businesses (this somewhat depends upon your ISP choice and package/platform).

In fairness it's unclear whether their study was directed at IT staff, which would indeed make some of the results very worrying, or another division / level of seniority (i.e. the boss). Not every business will have a boss that understands the technical side of networking, which is why you have IT people; we can usually be found in the basement, drinking lots of coffee and with blood red eyes (note: easily mistaken for zombies).
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