UK Business Burdened by Uncompetitive Broadband, says Viatel

The latest Akamai Q1 2010 ”State of the Internet” report states that the UK’s broadband network simply does not compete nationally or at city level. The report shows the UK dropping from 23rd to 27th out of 201 countries when average speeds are compared, while no UK city made it into the top 100 cities for broadband speed.

Viatel, the business communications and broadband specialist, argues that if this comparative decline continues, UK businesses may find themselves struggling to compete internationally.

Steve Powell, product manager for connectivity at Viatel, stated: “This report shows that Europe as a whole is failing to compete against places like Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. As the world struggles to recover post recession, superior broadband links offer businesses a competitive advantage that can seriously affect the bottom line. As an increasing amount of business is done online, and time dependent applications become more widespread, service delays will become increasingly costly.”

Despite the UK’s reported fall down the table, there are options for both businesses and consumers that want guaranteed fast Internet and private networking connectivity in the UK.

Powell continued: “While the Government and the incumbent supplier can be held somewhat responsible for the UK’s poor performance, around the country there are examples of alternative methods being employed to upgrade broadband networks, the most recent example of which included a small Kent village using public funds to help subsidise BT’s installation of fibre in the area. However, for organisations the most straight forward option is to invest in a dedicated service.

“Until end to end Quality of Service (QoS) is available, using shared broadband networks is always going to be a risk for businesses. Users who need to be sure of the delivered speed and latency for business critical applications should not be using any combination of Rate Adaptive and contended service in place of services such as Ethernet or even dedicated broadband lines. With dedicated Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) delivered over multiple copper lines and now becoming available over a much wider footprint across the UK with significant cost savings compared to leased lines, there are plenty of genuinely high speed options available for businesses. While dedicated solutions are still too expensive for consumers, for businesses wishing to compete in a global environment, these really are the only option until we see some big changes to the UK’s current broadband infrastructure.”