Mobile working and broadband are becoming increasingly vital to businesses in the UK but many are dissatisfied with connectivity and broadband speeds, a new Ofcom report revealed today.
The Business Consumer Experience Research 2009 report found that while eight out of 10 firms were happy with their broadband service around half said they had dealt with inadequate customer service for landline services and had poor quality connections on mobile and internet/data services.
Fifteen per cent said they found mobile connections unreliable and a further 23 per cent said internet connections were also unreliable. Broadband speeds were also unsatisfactory for 15 per cent.
As a result of the figures Ofcom has made one of the key priorities in its draft Annual Plan for 2010/11 to understand the reasons for mobile and broadband 'not-spots' and discover how extensive they are.
Mobile working is also becoming increasingly important with figures showing that 34 per cent of UK businesses are now using smartphones while London-based organisations had a take-up of 46 per cent.
The report also suggested businesses were not taking full advantage of the best deals for broadband by switching providers or asking for a better deal from their current providers.
Furthermore, 16 per cent of businesses with five employees or more are using dial-up services while for small businesses with five to 19 employees this figure increased to 21 per cent.
Richard Thurston, an analyst with Analysys Mason said the majority of businesses still using dial-up networks were probably doing so as there was no other option due to a lack of availability of broadband networks.
"With the government's agenda as part of Digital Britain to get a 2Mb/sec service into rural areas we should find the figures for businesses on dial-up decrease by 2012," he added.
Thurston said he believed the figures concerning issues of broadband connectivity underlined the importance of businesses making sure they selected a package from service providers designed for business rather than consumer use.
The analyst also noted that the cost of broadband is set to decrease over time with figures from Analysys Mason predicting spend on telecoms to decrease from £13.3bn in 2009 to £12.3bn by 2014.
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