Even today internet access speeds are the bugbear of many a business owner and manager.
The spread of high speed services, especially the current Holy Grail of fibre, has felt like a painfully slow process in many parts of our rural counties. There are business parks that still can’t get fibre connections, never mind the thousands of smaller rural businesses who make up a crucial part of the economies of Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Cheshire and beyond.
There are genuine realities which create both physical and financial barriers to speeding up this process in often sparsely populated areas. To give that some perspective though, we recently came across a piece from our local daily paper, the Shropshire Star, in which BT promised most people would have super-fast broadband within two years – and that was in 2010.
There has definitely been progress and BT itself has done a lot of work, but there’s a good argument that this is still not going fast enough to support an eager business community. Much of the attention has been paid to domestic connections as a priority, maybe because those households vote and companies don’t…
It’s not all doom and gloom though. There are a growing number of alternatives, often in the form of small, more agile private companies who are creating their own networks. The spread of 4G data has been pretty quick and that is becoming a real contender as a connection method for some solutions – though not all.
What we can do is support our clients in finding solutions which work for them. Wireless connections are spreading and BT has been forced to give other companies access to its poles and ducts to carry their cables. Funnily enough though, not many have done that, preferring to create their own new solutions instead of building on BT’s often century old infrastructure.
What this all adds up to is that for businesses there is always a way to get a quality of connection from which they can operate. Some of the options may not be obvious to anyone who hasn’t had to wrestle with this issue a number of times as we have.
The ideal is still to have fibre connections to your premises and we should all continue to press for that. In the meantime, you still need to do business and we want to help you get it done online with as little friction as possible.