Broadband ‘not quick enough’ say county firms

Just ten per cent of West Sussex businesses feel their internet connection is fast enough for their current needs, a survey carried out by West Sussex County Council has shown.

A total of 621 businesses from across the county took part in the survey, which was carried out earlier this year to understand business views on broadband and how it helps, or hinders their work.

The county council has been lobbying BT and internet service providers to help get faster broadband in West Sussex and tackle the ‘not spots’ where people are unable to get broadband at all.

Initial results from the business survey show:

Just 10 per cent of businesses feel their internet connection is fast enough for their current needs.

A further 32 per cent say their internet connection is just about acceptable.

80 per cent of businesses say the internet is vital to them, with an additional 18 per cent saying it is very useful.

Businesses in rural areas suffer from poor broadband access in particular, with just five per cent of those surveyed saying their internet is fast enough. This is compared to 21 per cent located in urban areas who said their broadband speed was fast enough.

The survey provides evidence for bids for funding, including from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) – part of the Department for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, for investment in broadband improvements. West Sussex County Council has submitted a bid to BDUK for funding, and is expecting to hear whether the bid has been successful by the end of May.

A summit on broadband provision organised by Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert, together with West Sussex County Council, takes place on Friday May 20 at County Hall, Chichester.