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Broadband nightmares: UK internet connections have fallen well behind other European cities

That UK internet connections are not on par with EU rivals is no secret, and WorkPad co-founders James Barnett and Jonathan Masri are the latest in our broadband nightmare series to share their thoughts on how Britain could speed ahead.
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When it comes to James Barnett and Jonathan Masri, co-founders of WorkPad, the state of UK internet connections are a crucial one. Ever the champions of wanting greater internet speed, Barnett and Masri have dedicated many a post to the subject. This is especially so of their dedicated push for the “better business working environment”. Functionality and business continuity are two crucial factors, the two have previously suggested, but too many UK offices are failing to recognise this.

With that in mind, we asked the two founders about their own broadband experiences – and their thoughts for nationwide service improvement.

(1) Please describe your company in your own words

WorkPad provides boutique office space in key central London locations to companies ranging in size from one to ten people. All our buildings are period in feature, and we try as much as possible to maintain any original charm and character, which perfectly fits in line with our locations. A major attraction for our members is that we generally offer an unbranded service, which allows the companies within to maintain anonymity. All our buildings are tastefully decorated, regularly maintained and have a 24/7 maintenance and IT team operating from behind the scenes.

(2) Where does broadband fit into your business?

UK internet connections, especially in central London locations, leaves plenty to be desired. Average speeds vary from a 5-15 mbs to 15mbs contended connection and for most businesses in today’s market, this simply isn’t workable. We, as well as many other companies have no choice but to purchase a leased fibre connection, which often costs between £400 / £1,500 month.

(3) Would you consider it to be vital?

Our customers are very driven by being based in central London locations but the importance of UK internet connections is equally as important. We house many tech, PR and media companies, and if we were to provide each with insufficient IT support, it would be detrimental to only our customers’ business but ours as well. We have learnt the importance of staying ahead of the game in regards to IT, which includes infrastructure and support. Another vital part of what we offer is flexibility and the ability to be pragmatic. Sometimes a company will require quite a complex set-up, and we will always go above and beyond to accommodate requirements.

(4) What type of broadband/supplier do you use?

We equip our buildings, depending on size, with a 100 megabit, or one gigabit leased fibre connection. This line is completely un-contended (meaning it’s not shared with anyone in the street), and provides the best, most stable connection around. We do all the networking within the building and the offices ourselves, and generally provide between 10/20 megabit connection to each room/company. This is included in the transparent packages we offer, which is often a breath of fresh air for our customers. We also have the capacity to increase this if needed. Within the rooms we provide CAT6 cabling around the perimeter as well as a solid wifi connection which runs on both the 2ghz and 5ghz spectrum.

Continue to find out how the two co-founders believe UK internet connections could improve.

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About Author

Shané Schutte

Shané Schutte is a senior reporter at Real Business, with a particular specialism in employment and business law, human resources, information technology and sales/marketing.

Real Business