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Broadband & Business

Some 90 per cent of West Sussex firms don't think their business broadband connection is fast enough.

A survey carried out by West Sussex County Council highlighted that just ten per cent of the 621 firms questioned are happy with their broadband speeds, while 32 per cent say their connection is just about acceptable.

This is despite 98 per cent of respondents saying the internet is either vital of very useful to their business.

In particular, businesses located in rural areas are struggling to get adequate broadband access, with just five per cent of such firms deeming their web connection fast enough.

The disappointing findings of the survey will be used as evidence for funding bids, with the council hoping to get cash to help improve the region's business broadband from sources such as Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).

They could also help in the council's lobbying efforts which aim to get broadband providers such as BT to help boost speeds in the area.

Cabinet Member for Environment and Economy Deborah Urquhart said: "The survey results show that the internet is vital for many businesses and that there is a lot to be done to ensure the network in West Sussex can meet all business needs.

"We want to help local businesses and the local economy to benefit from the opportunities a fast broadband connection can bring."

As part of the county council's efforts to improve broadband in the region, a summit will take place on May 20th aimed at bringing local residents and broadband industry and community stakeholders together to discuss ways to tackle the issue.

Speaking to the Mid Sussex Times, Ms Urquhart said that the summit is an ideal opportunity to bring businesses and community organisations together to discuss the important issue.

Nick Herbert MP added that the problem must be tackled as currently local business and enterprises are being held back.  

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