Slow internet revealed as small businesses’ biggest time-waster

PRESS RELEASE: Slow internet speed has emerged as small businesses’ biggest time-waster, according to a new study commissioned by Virgin Media Business. The findings also reveal that senior decision makers in SMEs think the average employee loses 15 minutes a day to slow internet speeds, meaning that a business with eight employees could lose a full day of work each week, waiting for their connection to catch up*.

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The online research, conducted by YouGov with 1,103 senior decision makers in British SMEs, marks the launch of Virgin Media Business’s new, ultrafast broadband packages including a 300Mbps product that’s almost four times faster than its competitors.

The research shows 57% of SMEs believe that the internet is critical to their business and that they wouldn’t be able to function without it. However, poor connections are becoming detrimental to their daily operations.

Faster speeds can provide small businesses with a significant online boost – opening then up to new technologies and allowing greater productivity. Virgin Media Business’ new ultrafast broadband packages can help businesses get more from their internet connection, offering speeds of up to 50Mbps, 100Mbps, 200Mbps and 300Mbps.

When small businesses were asked what they would do if they could complete their daily tasks more quickly, the top three responses were spending more quality time with family (40%), having dinner with their partner (30%) and going to the gym or playing sport (30%).

Other findings from the research include:

  • Slow internet speeds tied with customer service queries as the biggest distractions from senior decision makers’ main tasks at work (33%)
  • Over a third of small and medium sized businesses (34%) think a faster internet connection would accelerate their growth overall
  • Online activities are high on the strategic agenda for 2016, with a quarter prioritising online advertising and 23% prioritising building their social media presence in order for their company to grow over the next 12 months

Peter Kelly, Managing Director, Virgin Media Business, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK’s economy but need the right tools and technology to thrive. Our ultrafast broadband speeds are setting a new benchmark for business broadband and enabling businesses to reach their full digital potential by doing more, faster.”

In October, Virgin Media Business launched a report, ‘The UK’s Digital Opportunity’, which revealed digital technologies could provide a £56 billion boost to SMEs, as well as creating over 920,000 new jobs.

Over the coming years Virgin Media is investing £3 billion in its infrastructure to bring the fastest broadband to nearly 17 million UK homes and businesses.