It has been claimed that the economic growth of the UK will be restricted unless the government makes the correct policy decisions regarding high speed broadband. According to the FSB, Federation for Small Businesses, the lack of access to super fast speeds for downloads is preventing many firms from using e-commerce to push up exports and online sales.
From those who respond to the survey, 9% said that they had no access at all to the next generation of broadband, and another 22% had no access to at least one website. The FSB has also claimed that online trading would be much for profitable for businesses in the UK if they were able to take advantage of the full range of service available online.
The organisation have said that a reliable, fast and guaranteed broadband service is necessary for small businesses, irrespective of their location, and is vital to ensure their economic growth. The Con-Lib Dem coalition has made a commitment to ensure that there is a countrywide coverage of broadband by 2015 and that 90% of the population in each local authority would receive super fast broadband by the same date.
The FSB, however, is concerned that the will still be a division between rural and urban areas, as the private sector investment is remaining focused on major cities and towns. The national chairman of the FSB is John Walker, and he has said that online trading helps to empower small businesses by letting them find new markets, try new models. Sell new products and compete on a more equal footing with the larger businesses.
He also said that there was great potential for small businesses from online trade but barriers were in their way, and these needed to be removed. He said that the lack of broadband speeds was the biggest obstacle as it effectively stopped them from competing online.