The divide between rural and urban broadband has been increasing. The average speeds in rural areas are down at around 10MBPS. The average speeds in urban areas are around 27MBPS. The divide has been increasing and recent surveys suggest that the population of the UK feel that broadband is the key driver to economic growth and is crucial to the stimulus of prosperity both in rural and urban areas.
In surveys designed to uncover where people thought the government money should be spent, 80 per cent of adults stated that having high-speed Internet around the country would promote economic prosperity in the UK. The figure rose to 85 percent when rural inhabitants were surveyed.
What is Superfast Broadband?
Superfast broadband is categorized as broadband over 30MBPS; essentially, that means fibre optic broadband. With the activities that we do online these days, its become more and more important that we have decent levels of connectivity for our businesses. Weve seen fibre optic broadband connections up to 1GBPS on fibre to the premises basis.
Most businesses dont require this level of speed. However businesses in rural areas that can only get 1 or 2MBPS are suffering through a lack of efficiency in their online activities. Low -broadband speeds in some areas means that its impossible to start up certain types of business. Some communities in rural areas have taken it upon themselves to organize high-speed Internet for their locale. Projects have also been driven by private initiatives through companies offering rural broadband solutions.
The government had a target to get 95 percent of the UK onto superfast broadband by 2015. The targets are going to be missed and theyve delayed that target back to 2017 to 2018. The other aspect of their goal is that everyone should have access to at least 2MBPS connection speeds by that time.
Britain has fallen behind, many of the other countries in Europe as the infrastructure being used is a lot older than that in countries like Bulgaria. Nonetheless, speeds have been increasing and the average speed of Internet has quadrupled since 2008.
Broadband and Home Working
Over the years, there has been an increasing trend towards home working. The flexibility that it affords for our key employees has meant that we can attract talent from further field as they do not have to commute every day.
Some companies, such as Yahoo! have been going against this trend in changing their company policies. However, the general trend is that home working is increasing and is seen as profitable for business.
Faster rural broadband will certainly facilitate this process much more. When we are working from home, we need to be sending large files, we need to be talking face-to-face over conferencing software such as Skype. These activities require a certain level of stability and speed and we also need the large enough data allowances that these activities require.
With time, the Internet will mean that more people living in the more isolated places in the UK will be able to work from home. This can only be good for the economy. We will also see more businesses springing up in our rural communities as broadband makes it possible for tech companies and online retailers to generate their business from more remote locations.
Some of the more remote locations are actually cheaper when it comes to operational costs. Premises may be cheaper and therefore company margins can be better. But it does mean that broadband quality and speed become the key determinants of success for many of these operations.
Our lives have been changing over the last decade, and now we are more impatient than ever before and we are more demanding of the companies that we buy from. When it comes to communication, we expect it to be nearly instant. We expect emails back from customer support within a few minutes and we expect websites to be fast and up-to-date. Having good broadband facilitates these processes.
There is no doubt, in my mind, that better broadband does equal more prosperous economy. It means more possibilities, it means better flows of information, and it means better collaboration between employees and further relationships with customers.
The Benefits of Business Broadband
Business broadband tends to be a better solution for businesses than residential broadband. With increasing numbers of people setting up businesses and working from home, its a good option to choose a business broadband solution rather than trying to use your standard residential connection.
One of the many reasons for this is that upgrade speeds tend to be better on business broadband. Upload speeds dictate the speed at which you can send information upstream. This will mean sending files, uploading to your website, and other such activities. With low upload speeds, you can end up waiting around for processes to complete. In addition, business broadband tends to have better customer service and have problems fixed much more quickly. Millions of pounds, if not billions, are lost every year through Internet connection problems and this can mean the failure of your business. Stable Internet means more productivity and a healthy bottom line.
Another aspect of business broadband that facilitates productivity is the ability to use a fixed or static IP address. Static IP addresses are linked to the device they are connecting and therefore, you can access them remotely from other locations. This is great when you want to remotely control your computer or grab files from a server in the office.
In summary, superfast stable broadband will certainly improve the economy. It will attract new companies into the UK, it will mean more new businesses set up in rural areas, helping the prosperity of some fairly low productivity environments, and it will help us to work flexibly in this country, getting more out of our employees.
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