Bringing the UK up to speed with ultrafast broadband is an ongoing challenge, but it is one we are confronting as an industry. The Independent Networks Cooperative Association (INCA) recently published their “Building Gigabit Britain” report, which lays out the scale of the challenges facing the UK in digital infrastructure, and offers some recommendations to help tackle them.
INCA brings together the suppliers and providers that are driving forward the delivery of the next generation of broadband. Vonage, as a member of this network, is at the forefront of bringing effective, affordable digital infrastructure to thousands of businesses nationwide.
The event will see these members, alongside key policymakers and industry figureheads, delving into how broadband can help the country to deliver on its economic potential. There is a significant opportunity to unleash this potential through building independent networks that provide gigabit broadband to households and businesses across the UK.
There is a clear economic imperative to provide the whole of the country with access to superfast broadband. Business parks, alongside rural areas, have been dangerously left behind by updates to digital infrastructure. Ofcom reported last year that just 68 per cent of small and medium-sized businesses are able to access superfast broadband, while around 400,000 are waiting to be connected.
All too often, we hear that technology has been the critical factor in enabling a small business to flourish. Through access to fibre, entrepreneurs and small business owners are immediately able to harness tools that can be revolutionize operations and profitability.
Our own cloud phone systems, which offer seamless, professional communications to small businesses, are hugely reliant on fast, effective broadband. Throw in all the other digital tools, such as cloud computing and online accounting, that can now streamline your business, and the impact that ultrafast broadband could have in enabling business growth nationwide is significant.
Convening the industry as a whole to discuss these issues is critical, and Vonage remains an active campaigner for unlocking the potential of the UK’s businesses and entrepreneurs through digital technologies. This is part of a wider ambition for the entire telecoms industry worldwide to tackle this pressing issue of broadband provision.
For now, there is a lot more to be done to ensure that we have the digital infrastructure in place to guarantee the continued growth of UK plc. All of the alternative providers that will be gathered at today’s INCA conference are pushing to create a competitive market that works hard for the consumer.