Friday, 18 August 2017

Welsh businesses let down by internet connectivity

CityFibre
Wednesday 11 February 15

An online YouGov poll of IT decision makers from Welsh businesses has highlighted a potential threat to the national economy. An overwhelming majority of respondents surveyed (65%) feel the country’s broadband is worse than in other parts of the UK and only 23% believe that it is on a par with other UK nations. This is despite 67% of IT decision makers in Wales citing internet connectivity as key in supporting economic growth. The study, commissioned by network infrastructure provider, CityFibre, also found the importance of internet connectivity was placed ahead of a reduction in tax (53%)…

An online YouGov poll of IT decision makers from Welsh businesses has highlighted a potential threat to the national economy. An overwhelming majority of respondents surveyed (65%) feel the country’s broadband is worse than in other parts of the UK and only 23% believe that it is on a par with other UK nations. This is despite 67% of IT decision makers in Wales citing internet connectivity as key in supporting economic growth.

The study, commissioned by network infrastructure provider, CityFibre, also found the importance of internet connectivity was placed ahead of a reduction in tax (53%), improved domestic transport links (59%) and housing construction (16%) in a list of potential factors that support economic and business growth. Alarmingly, the study also revealed that should broadband issues not be addressed in their region, 9% would consider relocating their business to another part of the country where broadband quality is sufficient.

The poll took in the thoughts of IT leaders from across Welsh business sectors – from hospitality and leisure to medical and health services.

“Fast, reliable broadband connectivity is completely vital in modern business,” says CityFibre CEO Greg Mesch. “The fact that 82% of the IT decision makers we polled agree and yet nearly half (47%) of them rate their current service as substandard should be a real concern.”

The Welsh Assembly has been public about its commitment to providing super fast broadband to communities across the nation with projects such as Superfast Cymru due for completion in 2016. The project hopes to deliver potential download speeds of up to 61Mbps.

“The challenge is the speed of technology development,” continues Greg Mesch. “Every day there is new technology that is changing the way we do business but that needs faster and faster digital connectivity. Copper networks that were laid generations ago serve the majority of Wales and they are not fit for purpose. Even if you connect that copper to fibre further into the network, the bottleneck will mean that speeds, capabilities and innovation will still be restricted.

At CityFibre we are taking pure-fibre networks to towns and cities across the UK, providing public and private sector users with responsive ultrafast speeds of 1000 Mbps (Megabits per second). We already have Gigabit City projects in York, Peterborough, Coventry, and Aberdeen.

Earlier this month we crossed the Severn into Wales launching our first project in Newport in conjunction with Logicalis. This pure fibre network will support future smart technologies as the city evolves. We look forward to laying even more roots down in the country.”

The IT decision makers that took part in the study are already anticipating the positive impact of Gigabit speeds in Wales. Respondents predicted that faster speeds will allow them to take advantage of modern business technologies including VoIP (35%) and cloud services (36%).

Welsh businesses being able to properly access state-of-the-art cloud services would provide a major boost the economy. In October 2013, the EU Council predicted that proper adoption of cloud computing would add 2.5 million extra jobs within the EU and add around 1% a year to the region’s GDP by 2020.

As well as boosting the economy through cloud services, the survey found the majority of Welsh IT bosses (52%) firmly believe better broadband would boost general business productivity. Meanwhile, 44% agreed better broadband would increase the level of remote working across the nation – a practice increasingly being linked to raising production levels amongst employees.

In Scandinavia, a company called Stokab rolled out a similar fibre network with great socio-economic benefits, including ability to attract businesses, retain local talent and encourage technological innovation. In general, global studies show pure fibre networks can add up to 2% per year to a city’s GVA (Gross Value Add), which is used in the estimation of Gross Domestic Product.


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