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A number of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are still unsure about their internet requirements.

That is the main finding to emerge from a recent survey by Virgin Media Business, which found that over a third (37%) of senior decision makers at SMBs with broadband services did not know the top speed of their connections, while 72% were not aware of their monthly data usage.

Virgin has warned that such a lack of knowledge and understanding could result in many SMBs being left behind by advances in digital businesses.

Already, according to the survey, over half (53%) of small business decision makers have experienced issues with slow broadband speeds that have subsequently harmed the efficiency of employees.

This is despite 92% of respondents saying they expected their operations to be more digital over the course of the next five years.

Peter Kelly, MD, Virgin Media Business, said that getting educated on broadband is becoming an absolute necessity for many SMEs.

He added: “Reliable, high-speed internet can make the difference between thriving and merely surviving for the UK’s five million small and medium-sized businesses.

"As more and more of daily life shifts online, their need for fast connections will grow – but those frustrated with their current provider need not suffer in silence."

Virgin says it is doing its bit to help bring more businesses into the superfast digital age by way of “Project Lightning”, which it claims is the largest investment in the UK's broadband infrastructure for over ten years.

Over the next five years, the company hopes this major expansion of ultrafast connectivity will bring 152Mb speeds to four million premises across the UK.

It claims those speeds will be at least twice as fast as what is available from BT, TalkTalk and Sky and will be based on demand from businesses, consumers and communities, which can register their interest in the project at virginmedia.com/cablemystreet.  

Virgin's efforts have already been praised by John Allan, National Chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, who said: "Too often superfast broadband speeds are not available to the small businesses that need them.

"We therefore welcome Virgin Media’s new investment into the UK’s broadband infrastructure, which will empower small businesses to realise their ambitions and increase their productivity.”   

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