Small Businesses Hindered By Poor Broadband Provision

Are you happy with your broadband speeds?

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) surveyed 1,136 small businesses to discover how satisfied they are with their broadband speeds, publishing their findings in a report entitled ‘Lost Connectivity‘. There are so many challenges facing small businesses, and it seems lack of decent internet and mobile signals are hindering a lot of working people. Over a third of small businesses reported that they were not happy with their internet and mobile connections, rising to 40% of dissatisfied small businesses in rural areas.

Download Speeds

There are still a considerable number of small businesses that are having to make do with ISP download speeds of less than 10 Mbps (megabits per second), with almost 40% in rural areas considering their broadband speeds to be insufficient for their current needs, and almost half reporting they don’t think their current broadband will be sufficient for future needs.

UK small business download speeds


Over half of those surveyed are keen to upgrade their broadband as soon as they can – most citing they will upgrade as soon as the service becomes available in their area. This rises to over 70% of those trying to work with speeds of less than 10 Mbps.

Broadband infastructure graph

Costs and Reliability:

There is large dissatisfaction with what has been purportedly promised by broadband providers and the actual services received. 70% of those on less than 10 Mbps reported that this was not what they had signed up for.

Broadband costs and reliability

Mobile and Broadband:

Just under half answered that they had suffered with issues of unreliable voice connectivity and almost 60% in rural areas experienced unreliable data connectivity. With communication being the cornerstone of good business practice, it is alarming that 32% of small businesses reported having been prevented from contacting, or being contacted by, customers, with almost half seeing these issues as being a barrier to the growth of their business.

Mobile and broadband graph

The FSB also provided recommendations on how to improve connectivity for the UK’s small businesses who are struggling with their broadband and mobile networks. In particular, they are of the opinion that the Government has a large role to play working alongside telecoms provider.

Whatever the right answers are to get the best connections to all businesses, what this report does highlight is how important decent broadband and mobile connectivity are to companies. There are some businesses for whom fast internet is not a direct hindrance to their profitability, but nonetheless what all of us could do more with is time. And time spent wasted on unreliable connections is something we would welcome resolving soon.

Download the Lost Connection report pdf.

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