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Slow broadband costing small businesses a day of work each week

Wednesday, January 27th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Slow broadband is the biggest time-waster for small businesses, according to new research by Virgin Media Business.

The provider found that the average employee loses 15 minutes a day because of slow connections, meaning a business with eight employees could lose a full day of work each week.

The YouGov study, which questioned 1,103 senior decision makers in British small and medium businesses, found that 57% believe the internet is critical to their business.

It also found that a third think a faster broadband connection would accelerate business growth, while slow internet speeds and customer service queries tied as the biggest distractions (33%) for senior decision makers at work.

According to respondents, online activities are high on the agenda for 2016, with a quarter prioritising online advertising and 23% concentrating on building their social media presence.

Virgin’s research comes as the company launches a 300Mbps broadband package for businesses – and just a few months after it increased the top speed available to residential customers to 200Mbps.

Peter Kelly, managing director of Virgin Media Business, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK’s economy but need the right tools and technology to thrive.

“Our ultrafast broadband speeds are setting a new benchmark for business broadband and enabling businesses to reach their full digital potential by doing more, faster.”

Mr Kelly also welcomed the introduction of a new voluntary code of practice by Ofcom.

Providers signing up to the code will provide businesses with an accurate estimate of what broadband speed they can expect to receive.

Businesses will also be given information on their provider’s network traffic management and will be able to exit their contract early if speeds fall below a minimum guaranteed level.

“We welcome Ofcom’s initiative to provide better protection to small businesses by introducing a code of practice that ensures they receive the service expected,” said Mr Kelly.

“Virgin Media Business is proud to be a signatory of the code and we’re committed to helping SMEs achieve their full digital potential by offering the UK’s fastest, widely available business broadband speeds.”

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