The UK’s coalition government says it plans to provide superfast broadband for the whole of the country by the year 2015. The scheme aims to make speeds of 50Mbps commonplace in the UK by connecting every community with fibre-based broadband.
However, John Walker, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses(FSB), said that the Government was not taking small, rural firms’ problems with their service seriously.
“FSB research shows that all regions, except London, have issues with access to broadband and insufficient speeds – our members have told us that 2 Mbps is too low and the FSB is concerned that the programme to invest in fibre-optic broadband is underfunded,” Walker said.
“The Government has said there is no business case for providers to set up broadband in rural areas, but for rural firms it is essential that they have access to reliable broadband to expand their businesses, grow and innovate so they can take on new members of staff and generate income for the economy.”
“We need to see a truly universal service obligation put in place. If the Government ignores these rural firms, it sends the message that this sector doesn’t count.”