Three quarters of UK small businesses have invested in business broadband during the pandemic, or at least adapted their company to deliver services that can be experienced both in person and online.
But despite this, over half are likely to leave their current business broadband provider, Kevin O’Toole, managing director at Sky Connect, the B2B telecoms business of the telecoms and pay TV giant, told City A.M. this morning.
Bad customer service, slow upload and download speeds as well as unreliable broadband connection were cited as the top reasons for leaving, said O’Toole, who is a Comcast veteran.
He based his findings on a new study of UK SMEs that was shared exclusively with this newspaper.
The research, conducted by Censuswide for Sky Connect, investigated SME connectivity, and found that more than three quarters of small businesses have been impacted by slow broadband over the past year.
“Broadband is not something businesses will – or should – be thinking about day to day, but it’s noticeable as soon as it isn’t up to standard, and can have damaging consequences.”Sky Connect’s chief Kevin O’Toole, speaking to City A.M.
The good news however, is that two thirds of SMEs are planning to increase their investment in digital services such as broadband, broadband security and digital customer offerings, as they grow, support hybrid business models and cater to customer expectations.
“As SMEs continue to adapt to an increasingly digital world and deliver additional online services, more than ever before, broadband providers must prioritise reliability to enable small businesses to focus on what really matters to them.” O’Toole continued.
The data reveals that businesses are clearly on the look-out for more reliable connectivity, and there’s a real opportunity for providers to impress.
Nearly three quarters of SMEs are planning to invest in full fibre connectivity when it becomes available in their area.
This is to achieve the main benefits of connectivity such as a more reliable internet connection, faster and more consistent speeds and the ability to connect more devices.
And, nearly three quarters of small businesses said that they would be more likely to recommend a business broadband provider that delivered a far more reliable connection to someone else if it offered 4G or 5G backup.