Procurement · 8 November 2016

BT improves broadband speeds for thousands of small businesses

Three quarters of small business owners claim they could not operate for more than a day without internet

Some 46,000 UK business owners have had their fibre optic broadband speeds doubled, as BT has completed a nationwide upgrade.

The British telecoms provider has adopted speeds of up to 76Mpbs as the new entry level for its business broadband customers qualifying for BT Infinity.

All business customers that have until now received speeds of 38Mpbs as standard, will see their fibre optic broadband upgraded. BT began its nationwide upgrade in September this year.

“By making 76Mbps our new standard business fibre broadband speed, we are ensuring brilliant connectivity at a speed that will enable them to grow and thrive,” commented Mike Tomlinson, UK SME managing director at BT.

The announcement comes following new research in which three quarters of small business owners in the UK claimed their firm could not operate for more than one day without the internet.

The study, from marketing consultancy Populus, also revealed that 64 per cent of SME owners predicted they would need faster broadband speeds in coming years.

Speed was the most commonly cited concern by small business owners when it comes to fibre optic broadband, whilst email, payment transactions and being able to connect to the cloud were identified in the study as online activities most frequently undertaken by owners.

“Our customers really are better connected than ever before,” added Tomlinson.

“We’re helping [small businesses] work smarter and faster in the office – and on the move – as they increasingly embrace cloud-based services.”

BT initially announced the details of its latest investments into nationwide fibre optic broadband infrastructure in June this year, claiming one million UK businesses would gain access to superfast broadband by the year 2020.

The telecoms giant revealed that Bath, Bradford, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester and Salford would be the first UK cities to benefit, as well as the London areas of Westminster, Holborn and the City.

BT is yet to announce measures to break up its Openreach division. In February, following a “once-in-a-decade” review of the UK telecoms market, Ofcom stipulated BT must open up the network, which owns most of the pipes and cables that connect nearly all UK businesses with national broadband and telephone infrastructure, to competitors.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

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