Cloud and internet-based services are playing an increasingly integral role in your business.
They are powering your customer relationships, driving growth and expansion and helping your teams to work wherever they are, whenever they need to, without missing any customer contact points.
However, our growing reliance on these types of services means that while connectivity is gaining business critical status, parts of the UK are still struggling to access robust broadband services.
Small businesses increasingly rely on broadband, but a disproportionate number cannot access even a basic service. We estimate that almost 230,000 small businesses (7%) cannot receive decent broadband.
For businesses based in rural or hard to reach locations, lack of connectivity is hampering innovation and economic growth, and even impacting on the development of the communities around them.
Infrastructure is the problem.
Broadband connectivity still relies on the telephone copper network for delivery, including some fibre broadband services. The further the connection needs to travel, the weaker and slower the resulting service.
For businesses based in remote or rural locations, this means slow or unreliable internet that can’t meet the demands of cloud-based business tools and services.
Compounding this is the sheer cost of developing the infrastructure, which is proving not financially viable for providers to invest in.
One alternative could be a leased line but it can be financially unrealistic for a business to incur the costs of accessing data services, particularly when they can be adequately serviced by a broadband line. Trying to install these dedicated lines to rural areas can also be time consuming, complicated and expensive.
The UK government has published its commitment to improving rural business connectivity in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, which sets a number of high level goals, including:
Although these are encouraging proposals, the reality is that the time and investment needed to implement these recommendations still leaves rural businesses in need of a solution in the short term.
Wireless technologies could be the key.
Fixed wireless connectivity deploys wireless network technology to connect businesses, without the need for traditional fibre-optic or copper wiring. This technology could have a significant impact on connecting businesses and communities.
Wireless is often less expensive to deploy than fibre and copper solutions, suitable for deployment over large distances (assuming appropriate line of sight and relay points are available) and flexible enough for all forms of data traffic including video, voice and mobile.
What's more, wireless can often be up and running in as little as seven days from signature, making it ideal for businesses with immediate need.
At IPEX, we offer bandwidth between 10mbps and 200Gbps to give you the option you need, and can be up and running with seven days.
The future's looking brighter for businesses looking for global reach from a rural base, and wireless technology can enable global brands to expand their talent pool and partnership opportunities through remote collaboration. With the right telecoms partner, businesses can ensure that they stay ahead in an increasingly competitive and connected market.