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Survey shows rural businesses face losing money due to slow internet

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Small companies face losing money due to poor broadband connections after research shows more than a quarter of employees find slow internet the most frustrating part of their job.

A survey from rural internet provider Whitespace Technology found that 28.2% of office workers said slow internet was more frustrating than a lack of facilities or negative feedback.

Most companies rely heavily on applications like e-mail and the Cloud for communicating and storing important documents, with many also using video conferences and social media to keep in touch with clients or customers.

Disruptions to these online services can have a measurable impact on business while also causing negative feelings among staff. In a recent study, 70% of businesses said poor internet was hindering their efficiency and productivity and 48% struggled to connect with new customers due to a weak broadband connection.

Mark Wheeler, Chief Executive Officer at Whitespace, said: “A strong internet connection is obviously hugely important to businesses, both in terms of day-to-day operations and allowing staff to work at their full potential.

“However, in the countryside this can be challenging. The important thing is that businesses should not just accept their lot and suffer a poor connection. There are several options out there that will allow you to boost your speeds — and improve your business.”

The most common way to receive broadband in the UK is via a phone line with an ADSL connection, which uses a network of copper wires.

However, speeds slow in proportion to the distance a signal must travel over the copper.

Unfortunately, remote locations tend to miss out on any costly infrastructure updates aimed at delivering faster broadband due to their low population.

Mark added: “With a rise of online shopping over the years, it is vital for sites hosting commercial transactions to have a strong internet connection to open up new markets and maximise profits.”

Despite 24% of all registered businesses in England starting off in remote locations, recent Ofcom figures show that 17% of premises in rural areas do not have access to a good broadband connection.

Research by Rural England and Scotland’s Rural College also found that rural companies could add up to £26 billion a year to the economy if their digital capability was fulfilled.