Rural Sentiment Survey Conducted By Knight Frank Reveals That Rural Businesses Believe Lack Of Effective Broadband Access Is The Biggest Issue They Face

In order to function properly in the modern business world, firms need access to the right technology. As soon as internet connections slow or fail, phone lines go down or other technical issues arise, companies can experience a whole series of problems.

If this happens on a regular basis, it can even render businesses unable to operate. After all, it is a competitive marketplace and enterprises with fully-functioning technology are bound to steal a march on any rivals that suffer from persistent glitches.

Highlighting the importance of this issue, research conducted by Knight Frank has revealed that rural residents and businesses believe poor broadband is the main issue that the government must tackle to improve the countryside as a place to live or do business.

Seven in ten respondents to its latest Rural Sentiment survey listed this as the top priority. In addition, 50 per cent revealed that bad quality broadband was either affecting the profitability of their business or their quality of life.

In contrast, only 11 per cent stated that poor broadband was not an issue of concern to them.

Sending a strong message 

Responding to the findings, head of Knight Frank Rural Consultancy James Del Mar said: “These results should send a strong message to the government that if it really wants to support rural business generation it must provide the same quality broadband that those in the city take for granted. From my own experience of dealing with rural businesses, there is a huge amount of innovation and entrepreneurship happening at the moment. It would be a shame if that was stifled due to poor broadband.”

Up for the challenge 

However, it seems as though, despite the technical challenges facing them, rural enterprises are not downbeat. Nearly half of the businesses questioned (48 per cent) revealed they expect their profitability to increase this year. This was up from the 30 per cent who reported similar sentiments in 2013.

On this, Mr Del Mar stated: “As the results of the survey show, rural businesses face many challenges. But with the right government and professional support most will continue to prosper.”

A proactive approach

Certainly, improved broadband would benefit many firms around the UK, helping to speed up their everyday operations and enabling them to enhance their levels of customer service. However, as well as looking to improved broadband, there are other things companies can do to boost their operations in the short term.

For example, by investing in the very best IT systems and web solutions on offer, they stand to improve their effectiveness and efficiency.

There are plenty of options available to companies and by doing a little research online, they should be able to get all the information they need in order to make informed decisions. There are lots of hints and tips on offer in cyberspace. Although improving their IT systems will require a little expenditure, this could prove to be money well spent. After all, it may boost their competitiveness and enhance their long-term prospects.

Anna Longdin writes regularly about UK technology. She visits sites including Splitsec to ensure she stays up to date on all the latest industry news and developments.

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