The survey, commissioned by infrastructure provider CityFibre, lays bare how vulnerable companies are to a loss of digital connectivity and how little it would take to bring the city’s business ecosystem grinding to a halt.
CityFibre says the findings make a clear case for bringing an end to the country’s dependence on its aging, capacity-constrained copper infrastructure and supporting an accelerated rollout of a full fibre alternative, currently accessible to only four per cent of the UK.
The research shows that most businesses believe that better connectivity equals improved productivity and improved customer service. Other perceived benefits included less time spent travelling, more use of remote working and better collaboration.
Almost all those questioned want to invest in future technology, in particular the cloud, augmented reality software and video conferencing. One in four would invest in better analysis tools and practice, a fifth in digital marketing tools to help them grow their business and 25% would invest in recruitment and training to better equip employees for a digital future.
Businesses have been connected to CityFibre’s network in Milton Keynes since it launched in 2016, through launch partner dbfb and other service provider partners. Milton Keynes is also to be the first city in the UK to benefit from CityFibre’s gigabit-capable full fibre broadband rollout in partnership with Vodafone. The project represents a £40 million private investment from CityFibre that will bring the next generation infrastructure to almost every home and business in the city. The first premises is due to go live towards the end of this year.
CityFibre’s city development manager for Milton Keynes Jean Gowin said: “This research shows what many companies across the Milton Keynes community already know – internet connectivity is essential to business success. But all too often, slow speeds and unreliable networks are letting businesses down, which is why the new full fibre network will have such a transformative effect on businesses in the city, allowing them to boost productivity and introduce new technology.
“By embracing full fibre, we will be able to keep pace with competitors, whether at home or abroad, and future proof our digital infrastructure for generations to come. This technology will unlock growth, not only for businesses but also for residents, and it is fantastic to see MK at the forefront of a bright digital future.”