UK firms which have moved from dial-up to broadband internet access are recovering 52 days a year in lost productivity, research has claimed.
According to a study by communications firm NTL, the primary benefits of adopting broadband were cited as saving time and making money.
Two thirds of the 400 UK companies interviewed said that broadband had significantly improved their ability to communicate effectively with customers and suppliers.
Half of the respondents identified the ability to implement new business applications as a key advantage.
More than two thirds use the time saved by broadband for marketing and new business initiatives instead of reducing their working hours, the research found.
Over half of the survey's small business respondents have already upgraded to broadband, with Scottish firms leading at 62 per cent.
But despite the positive feedback of many broadband users, over one third of respondents felt that broadband offered no tangible advantage to their businesses.
Simon Tse, business services director for small business at NTL, said in a statement: "These results highlight just how valuable broadband is in today's business environment.
"With effectively another 52 days in the year, companies are finding more time to win new business and are transforming the way they service existing customers and deal with suppliers.
"Broadband is an essential tool for helping small businesses compete with much larger players."
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