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51% of UK SMEs planning to leave current broadband provider

A new study commissioned by Sky Connect has revealed that 51% of UK small businesses are likely to leave their current business broadband provider. This is despite nearly three-quarters (71%) having invested in business broadband or adapted their business to deliver services that can be experienced both online and in person over the past 12 months.

Bad customer service, slow upload and download speeds, as well as unreliable broadband connection, were cited as the top reasons for leaving.

The research, conducted by Censuswide for Sky Connect, Sky’s B2B telecoms business, investigated SME connectivity, and found that more than three quarters (77%) of small businesses have been impacted by slow broadband over the past year. The impact of unreliable business broadband can be huge, with inability to communicate with customers and suppliers (33%), hampered productivity (32%) and even losing customers (32%) cited as the biggest knock-on effects.

The good news, however, is that two-thirds of SMEs are planning to increase their investment in digital services such as broadband, broadband security and digital customer offerings, as they grow, support hybrid business models and cater to customer expectations.

Kevin O’Toole, Managing Director at Sky Connect said “Broadband is not something businesses will – or should – be thinking about day to day, but it’s noticeable as soon as it isn’t up to standard, and can have damaging consequences.

“As SMEs continue to adapt to an increasingly digital world and deliver additional online services, more than ever before, broadband providers must prioritise reliability to enable small businesses to focus on what really matters to them.

“This is a belief that has been central to our philosophy at Sky Connect from the very beginning, and we are proud to be a part of the journey towards better, more reliable connectivity for UK small businesses.”

This new data reveals that businesses are clearly on the lookout for more reliable connectivity, and there’s a real opportunity for providers to impress. Nearly three-quarters of SMEs are planning to invest in full fibre connectivity when it becomes available in their area. This is to achieve the main benefits of connectivity such as a more reliable internet connection, faster and more consistent speeds and the ability to connect more devices.

And, nearly three-quarters (74%) of small businesses said that they would be more likely to recommend a business broadband provider that delivered a far more reliable connection to someone else if it offered 4G or 5G backup.