UK Business fibre optic broadband

Ofcom to improve broadband connections for the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

The industry watchdog said business consumers are a “critical part of the UK communications sector” and it wants to ensure they can take advantage of competition and innovation in the market wherever possible.

Ofcom added that it is also seeking to provide regulatory protection where necessary for such companies.

It stated that “Large businesses are typically able to secure good outcomes by virtue of their scale and a highly competitive market to supply services to them”

One of the key aims for the communications regulator is to promote the widespread availability of super-fast broadband.

85% of SMEs currently report they are happy with their communications access. However, the regulator found many are still running into problems such as slow speeds or poor service.

In an autumn report, it will assess gaps in super-fast broadband coverage for residential and business users both rural and urban areas.

Ofcom has said that it is already working closely with government and industry to identify potential ways to fill these gaps.

It is also aiming to improve service quality and choice for SMEs, noting that many companies operating in the sector have diverse needs and may use a combination business and residential services.

Ofcom believes protection for SMEs is vital, allowing them to navigate the market confidently with effective protection and redress if things go wrong.

The regulator is particularly concerned about businesses in the UK countryside, which may not have access to next-generation communication services.

It revealed that it is working with Advisory Committees in the nations to understand the experience of SMEs in more remote part of the UK.

It is believed that “This will help shape future policies to support small businesses at local and regional level.”

Ofcom’s Chief Executive, Ed Richards said that the watchdog recognised what a critical sector of the economy the SME community represents, and how important digital communications technology is to this group of business consumers.

“Our work will help ensure the market is delivering for businesses of all kinds and to make sure that the right protection is in place for them if it isn’t”

Kara Copple
An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.