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Broadband & Business

London businesses are missing out as a result of inadequate broadband connections, it has been claimed.

A study conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) - commissioned by broadband market newcomer Relish - revealed that a lack of access to fibre-optic networks is costing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) up to £37 million per year.

The CEBR data showed that more than 400,000 businesses in the capital regularly struggle with a poor internet connection.

In the City of London, average download speeds were found to be just 11.2Mb, compared to an average of 20.5Mb across the capital.

Colm Sheehy, Senior Economist at CEBR, said the fact that central London has the highest concentration of SMEs suffering from low broadband speeds "has implications for productivity in London’s economy".

Because some companies are unable to take advantage of a full range of online, high-bandwidth services, employees may struggle to perform their best.

Another problem highlighted by the CEBR report was the number of unnecessary landlines being paid for by London SMEs.

Almost two-thirds (60 per cent) of those surveyed said they could do without their landline - and the associated costs.

Mr Sheehy claimed that the requirement to have a landline for broadband services - despite being able to operate effectively without one - means businesses are getting "poor value for money" from their telecoms provider.

A further problem identified by the CEBR study is the time businesses have to wait to have their broadband connection installed.

Delays getting started with new broadband deals cost London companies a combined £7 million per year, the study found.

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