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Slow internet speeds are leading to lots of time being wasted at the UK's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

According to a study carried out by YouGov for Virgin Media Business, 57 per cent of Britain's smaller firms consider the internet critical to their daily operations.

However, it found that the average worker at an SME loses 15 minutes a day because of slow internet speeds. This means that for a small business with eight employees, up to a full day of work could be lost each week.

As a result, many SMEs could be missing out on potential opportunities to expand. More than one in four said they want to step up online advertising over the next year, while a similar proportion expressed a desire to boost their social media presence in order to drive growth.

Meanwhile, over a third of SMEs said they believe a faster internet connection would speed up their growth overall.

Peter Kelly, Managing Director of Virgin Media Business, commented: "Small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK's economy but need the right tools and technology to thrive."

The release of the findings coincide with the launch of new ultrafast broadband packages from Virgin Media Business.

This includes a 300Mbps product that the organisation claims is nearly four times faster than offerings from its competitors.

Mr Kelly stated that Virgin Media Business's ultrafast broadband speeds are "setting a new benchmark for business broadband".

This, he said, will enable SMEs across the UK to "reach their full digital potential by doing more, faster".

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