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Infrastructure for Business: the IoD member broadband survey

15 Feb 2013
Office workers using digital devices around a table

The IoD member broadband survey, the fifth report in the Infrastructure for Business series, features the results of a survey of 1,100 members on fixed-line and mobile internet services for business.

In October 2012, the IoD carried out a survey of 1,147 IoD members to gather their views on fixed-line and mobile internet services for their business. The experiences of the two thirds of respondents with a primary workplace located in an urban area and the one third with a primary workplace located in a rural area were given particular attention.

The key findings of the survey include:

Fixed-line broadband speeds

  • Overall, 57% of IoD members are satisfied with fixed-line download speeds for their business, and 50% with fixed-line upload speeds.
  • By contrast, just 34% of members with a primary workplace in a rural area are satisfied with the speed of their fixed-line service for downloads, while 51% are dissatisfied.
  • Only 29% of rural members are satisfied with upload speeds, compared to 58% dissatisfied.

Mobile internet services

  • Overall, just 25% of IoD members are satisfied with mobile download speeds, compared to 45% dissatisfied.
  • In rural areas, just 13% are satisfied with mobile download speeds, compared with 60% dissatisfied.
  • Only 21% of rural members are satisfied with the reliability of their mobile internet services, compared with 46% dissatisfied.

Benefits of higher internet speeds

Significantly higher fixed-line and mobile internet speeds would:

  • Improve the productivity of 83% of IoD members;
  • Improve the overall competitiveness of 65%;
  • Encourage 56% to offer more flexible working opportunities to staff;
  • Encourage 31% to invest more in their business;
  • Encourage 13% to hire more staff.

The last three years – slightly faster

  • Overall, 17% thinkthat fixed-line downloads are now significantly faster than three years ago, while 41% say that they are slightly faster. By comparison, just 7% think they have got slightly slower and only 3% significantly slower.
  • Overall, 12% thinkthat mobile downloads have got significantly faster over the last three years and 33% thinkthey have got slightly faster. By contrast, 7% think that mobile download speeds have fallen slightly and 3% thinkthey have fallen significantly.
  • In rural areas, just 8% think that mobile download speeds have improved significantly over the last three years, but 25% think they have improved slightly. More than four in ten (43%) think that mobile download speeds have remained the same over the last three years. Just 8% think they have worsened slightly and 4% say they have worsened significantly.

The next three years – significantly faster

  • Overall, 39% thinkthat fixed-line downloads will get significantly faster over the next three years, and 41% thinkthey will get slightly faster. Just 2% thinkthey will slow.
  • Overall, 45% thinkthat mobile downloads will get significantly faster, 33% slightly faster and just 2% slower.

Openreach

  • Overall, 32% of IoD members who have dealt with Openreach (the company that looks after the wires connecting homes and businesses to the local telephone exchange) were satisfied with the service, compared to 42% dissatisfied and 26% neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
  • Only 23% of rural members who have dealt with Openreach were satisfied with the service, compared to 46% dissatisfied.

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