Poor connectivity can hinder operations and stunt potential growth

4) What are the biggest broadband trends you’ve come across?

Government policy is having an impact on broadband, with the Autumn Statement taking the commitment to superfast broadband one step further with a goal of providing nationwide full fibre internet. Connectivity plays a central role in prime minister Theresa May’s Industrial Strategy.

The Autumn Statement’s reduction of business rates for fibre providers will drastically change the market, paving the way for disruptive new companies. Small providers, such as Gigabit and Hyperoptic, will be able to expand more rapidly. But it is important that, in this aggressive market, providers still work together to share poles and ducts, and work with developers and landlords to build and share universal communications chambers into buildings.

The trend is extending beyond central government too. Local authorities are also making new investments in public WiFi networks to support both businesses and consumers. The City of London Corporation announced it would launch a public WiFi network to rival New York’s infrastructure. After the Standardised Wayleave it launched last year, the City of London Corporation is positioning itself as a slayer of poor connectivity.

5) What does it take to garner a Platinum rating (reserved for those with topnotch connectivity and infrastructure) on WiredScore – and what makes the rating so elusive?

Wired Certification helps occupiers make an informed decision before signing a lease, and provides landlords with a benchmark from which they can improve and market their buildings’ connectivity standards. WiredScore looks at the following inputs, and so too should businesses looking for office space:

Pure connectivity

We look at how many internet service providers are coming into a building and the medium they’re coming in on; i.e. whether it’s copper coax, RH wireless, or fibre. For example, while relying on copper would have been perfectly adequate to run a business on ten years ago, trying to store documents in the cloud, or upload attachments would now be laborious.

Infrastructure

WiredScore takes into consideration factors such as whether the building has dual points of entry, whether it has diverse vertical risers, secure telecommunications rooms, and sufficient horizontal run space. A building with only one point of entry risks potential disaster if, say, the one source of fibre into the building happens to get cut. Businesses can continue to run without air conditioning or water, but cut off their internet and they’ll be fleeing to the nearest café.

Readiness – both legal and practical

For example, is there enough space to run new cabling in the risers? Does the landlord have a standard Wayleave agreement in place to enable new service providers to be brought in quickly?

This article is part of our Real Business Broadband campaign, which seeks to provide a mouthpiece for business leaders to vocalise the broadband issues preventing their businesses from reaching full potential. We’d love to hear your take on the debate and where you think the UK needs to make drastic changes. Get in touch via email (shane.schutte@realbusiness.co.uk) or join in on the action using #rbBroadband.
Image: Shutterstock

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