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SMEs need better access to broadband, according to government report

Small and medium-sized enterprises need access to better broadband services, according to a report from the cross-party Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

The report stated that the quality of the current level of broadband service is poor and that services need to be improved.

Report

According to the report, which was commissioned from a panel of specialists, broadband provider BT is not investing enough into its subsidiary Openreach and the quality of the service continues to be poor.

The committee has now called for BT to invest considerably more into Openreach. They stated that if the company fails to “offer the reforms and investment assurances” that are necessary to satisfy the committee’s concerns, then Ofcom should enforce the full separation of Openreach.

The committee was also concerned that SMEs did not have access to improved broadband services.

SMEs

Federation of Small Businesses National Chairman Mike Cherry said that large numbers of small businesses are using new digital technology to “revolutionise the way they do business”, but the market is still not delivering for all.

Cherry explained that this is acting as a “brake on the ambitions” of many businesses, and the “poor quality of service is a major barrier” for businesses that want to do more online.

He added that a “sustained focus on raising minimum standards” is needed, and that “access to superfast broadband is an ongoing issue.”


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