There are multiple stakeholders involved in this debate. To start with there are the telcos, the organisations put in charge of providing the mission-critical broadband service. Then there is the government, for which divisions such as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport are pushing for better services through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).
However, we believe there is a key contributor missing from the conversation – business leaders themselves. To provide them with a mouthpiece, we are proud to lift the lid on our Real Business Broadband campaign. At the heart of it are real-life stories from small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) around the UK. The leaders and owners of each will be telling us all about their own personal broadband bugbears, issues which are stopping their business from reaching its full potential.
We’ll also be putting their grievances to the telcos, finding out if each are aware of the different problems that exist around the nation. The likes of Virgin and BT have made big commitments to take superfast broadband to every covers of Britain, but in our experience this is either not happening fast enough or not happening at all.
The campaign also brings in the thoughts of industry experts, those who are able to shed some light on the logistical and infrastructure roadblocks that currently exist.
This is not a campaign that will fizzle out after a few weeks or months. Rather, Real Business sees it as a topic that demands constant and sustained pressure for proper progress to be made. Needless to say, if you, our readers, have a broadband-related story you’d like to share then please do get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org. Whether you run a rural business that has a slow connection or are an urban firm that believes your are over-paying for a service, let us know what’s happening at the the coal face.
To kick off proceedings, we have some great case study interviews – featuring the likes of HA Hosting and Broadband Genie, with PCA Predict – formerly Postcode Anywhere – as well as institutions such as the Federation of Small Businesses and the Centre for Digital Innovation in Hull, in the pipeline.
The government’s aim is to provide superfast broadband (speeds of 24Mbps or more) for at least 95 per cent of UK premises and universal access to basic broadband (speeds of at least 2Mbps). Funding is there, and support such as the Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme should be getting better results. But, as new secretary of state Greg Clark recently told an assembled mass of delegates at the Institute of Directors’ Annual Convention: “We have new infrastructure like Crossrail about to open, but we have roads that are bottlenecked, trains overcrowded and broadband and mobile coverage that is simply unacceptable in 2016.”
We all know it is a crucial problem to address, and absolutely pivotal if the UK is to grow and enhance its presence as a hotbed for digital talent and enterprise.
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