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London firms are losing £7.8m a year to slow broadband installation

City of London and Tech City offer slowest broadband speeds
Fri Aug 22 2014, 09:56
London-based SMEs are losing $7.8m a year due to slow broadband installation

SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZED ENTERPRISES (SMEs) in London are losing £7.8m a year due to delays in broadband installation, a report claims, with firms also suffering slow broadband speeds.

That's according to a scathing report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), which has taken a critical look at broadband provision for businesses based in Central London.

Broadband installation is one of the British capital city's biggest issues, CEBR claims, noting that SMEs waste a total of 50,400 days per year supervising and arranging it, costing them £7.8m in lost productivity annually.

In most cases the struggle isn't really worth it either, with the research noting that the City of London, where 45 percent of SMEs in Greater London are based, offers firms slow download speeds. Average download speeds in the area are just 11.9Mpbs, compared to the London average of 20.5Mbps. What's more, just six percent of businesses in the area have access to a superfast broadband connection.

Tech City, a start-up hub based in East London, doesn't fare much better, according to thwe report, which follows remarks from businesses in the area that the broadband available is "not fit for purpose". CEBR claims the area has the second slowest broadband speeds in London.

CEBR senior economist Colm Sheehy said, "The fact that Central London has the highest concentration of SMEs suffering from low broadband speeds has implications for productivity in London's economy."

The report also claims that businesses are wasting both time and money on unnecessary landline connections, saying SMEs are wasting £37m a year on them, despite 62 percent claiming that they would operate effectively without one.

"The requirement to have a landline for most broadband services despite nearly two thirds of SMEs being able to operate effectively without it indicates that businesses are getting poor value for money from their landline," Sheehy added. µ


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