If you were to ask somebody where in the UK was the major hub for business, commerce and finance, the chances are that most would confidently state that the answer was The City of London. The so-called Square Mile is home after all, to an agglomeration of businesses and companies which employ over 300,000 people and enjoys a reputation as being a worldwide centre of commerce.
It may come as quite a surprise therefore, that in spite of its status and importance to the economy the area is actually largely served by less than ideal broadband connection rather than by SuperFast Fibre Broadband. Fibre broadband is generally accepted as being a far more reliable and quicker connection option than the traditional supply of broadband via copper telephone wires but in spite of this, coverage in The City has remained almost non-existent.
The key businesses and organisations within the Square Mile therefore, have to make do with that traditional connection provided via old copper telephone wires as there is currently no plan in place for the provision of SuperFast Fibre Broadband in the region. That begs two key questions which we will endeavour to address; how could an upgrade to fibre broadband benefit business in the area and what is being done to move toward what is such a crucially important upgrade.
What Impact Might an Upgrade to Fibre Broadband Have?
As is inherent in the name, SuperFast Fibre broadband does indeed deliver much quicker connection speeds but also, and arguably as importantly, is a generally more reliable broadband connection. This is the case as it utilises dedicated fibre optic cable to deliver connection rather than sharing copper wiring with normal telephone signal which is the case with the sub-optimal connection option that The City currently has to cope with. With this in mind then, it becomes obvious that fibre broadband offers a business a variety of different benefits and advantages which impact both efficiency and productivity.
To give just a couple of examples, faster connection speed would make downloading of vital data and information far quicker and more reliable connection drastically reduces the possibility of a loss of internet which could be devastating for a firm’s productivity. When you consider then, that some of the world’s leading companies and organisations have premises within the Square Mile it seems to defy logic that the average SuperFast Fibre Broadband coverage in the area falls between just 0% and 20%. Surely then, something has to be done to remedy this damaging situation, and that is exactly the opinion of EC-MSP.
What can be done?
It should be mentioned at this stage that the government have devoted some investment to potentially improving broadband connection within The City and West End. However, this investment is largely aimed towards a voucher scheme to provided dedicated lines for companies within the existing infrastructure and does not involve any coordinated plan to improve the degree of fibre coverage within the region.
Whilst that investment may offer a little improvement to organisations, it does not have the scope or long term potential for advancement which would come from enabling SuperFast Fibre Broadband connection. That’s why EC-MSP have introduced their own broadband initiative with the aim of raising awareness surrounding the fact that companies in the Square Mile are largely without the crucial fibre broadband coverage and pressing the government and BT to consider improving the fibre connectivity in the region.
Through gathering data and presenting it to the relevant organisations, the initiative aims to ensure that the key decision makers understand the gravity of the issue. With appropriate support from business owners therefore, the initiative may well be the area’s best chance of achieving the advances in efficiency and productivity that only SuperFast Fibre Broadband can provide.