Small and medium sized enterprises’ (SMEs) access to superfast broadband continues to fall behind residential consumers.
According to Ofcom’s latest report, Connected Nations 2015, 68% of small businesses have access to superfast broadband, compared to 83% of all UK premises.
This leaves over 400,000 SMEs without access to superfast broadband.
Overall coverage and quality of broadband services has increased over the past year. More than 27% of homes now have superfast broadband, up from 21% last year.
Superfast broadband is now available to over 83% of UK homes, up from 75% last year.
However, around 130,000 SMEs in areas like business parks are unable to receive speeds above 10Mbit/s. Ofcom estimates 95% of all UK homes will have access to superfast broadband by 2017, with 18% of SMEs still not having access to the service.
Sharon White, chief executive of Ofcom, said:
“Our challenge is to keep supporting competition and innovation, while also helping to improve coverage across the country – particularly in hard-to-reach areas, where mobile and home internet services need to improve.”
John Allan, national chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said:
“We know poor access and understanding of the availability of superfast broadband has been a longstanding problem for the UK’s smaller businesses. Progress is being made, but too many small firms remain stuck in the slow lane.