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London SMEs held back by 'nightmare broadband'

Friday, August 22nd 2014 by Dean Reilly
Slow broadband holding back London's small businesses, says CEBR (Jupiter Images)

A new report paints a bleak picture of London's broadband landscape.

A broadband "nightmare" is holding back hundreds of thousands of small businesses in London, according to a new report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

The study, commissioned by new communications provider Relish, revealed that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the capital – of which there are 420,630 – are facing a wide range of broadband-related issues.

Even though more than two-fifths of London's smaller firms are based in central boroughs, they are often stuck with slow internet access – a problem that is most noticeable in the Square Mile, where average speeds clock in at just 11.9Mbps. Only six per cent of these businesses are able to receive superfast broadband.

An unacceptable amount of time is also being spent on waiting for broadband lines to be installed. London's SMEs waste a total of 50,400 working days every year on arranging and supervising these installations, costing them more than £7.8 million in lost productivity.

Colm Sheehy, Senior Economist at CEBR, said: "The fact that central London has the highest concentration of SMEs suffering from low broadband speeds has implications for productivity in London's economy."

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