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Broadband & Business

The average UK business will only require broadband download speeds of 8.1Mbps by 2025, according to a new report from the Broadband Stakeholders Group (BSG).

The group, which is responsible for advising the Government on broadband infrastructure projects, estimates that UK firms currently require 5Mbps broadband to function correctly, and this will only rise marginally over the next decade.

However, an observation in the report is that the vast majority of businesses included in the calculations only have four or fewer employees, with many of these firms having minimal reliance on the internet for their internal functions.

As such, the study also points out that 5% of UK organisations will have substantially greater demands ten years from now than their current requirement, which is already high.

At the moment, this 5% of firms need an average connection of 12.9Mbps, but this will rise significantly to 41.1Mbps as commercial and customer demand proliferates.

One major recommendation of the study authors is that decision-makers resist the urge to roll-out an industry standard broadband download speed, as this would not only incur substantial costs, but would also far exceed nationwide requirements.

Despite this, it is still essential that all firms are given access to services that help them to compete in the world of business, according to Matthew Evans, CEO of the BSG.

He said: "This report greatly adds to our understanding of small businesses connectivity requirements. Although standard broadband is adequate for most firms, some firms are already constrained.

"All small businesses will need access to superfast speeds in the next five years, and large numbers will soon need the ultrafast speeds that the Government committed to delivering in the recent Productivity Plan."

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