When Virgin Media announced an extra £3 billion investment in broadband last week, there wasn’t much cheering from those too far from a street cabinet or out in the countryside to benefit. While Virgin and BT argue over who should be responsible for wiring up the rest of the country with fibre optic connections, providing better broadband speeds and helping businesses, what can the technology actually do for your company? Fast and stable broadband offers many benefits.
Cloud services, which are effectively unavailable to those on slow or unreliable connections and taken for granted by everyone else, are one such benefit. Cloud storage lets companies keep and share documents, work on them in a web browser and interact with other users around the world. Cloud services like office suites or business software are free to use, or far less expensive than the desktop equivalent.
Even tasks most businesses consider simple can be a struggle for any business outside of a broadband area. Uploading a high quality video about your company or its products can take a ridiculous amount of time, as can sending large files to clients. Plus, if there is an error because of a dropped connection or poor data rate, uploading can be impossible. Slow connections can also hamper social media messaging, make online customer support unreliable and cause other issues.
Poor download speeds also prevent businesses on slower connections from installing major patches, security fixes and updates to operating systems, leaving their PCs exposed to increasingly zero-day threats (an attack that arrives before a fix is available). Any or all of these issues can put a business at a disadvantage.
While Virgin aims to connect parts of towns and cities that aren’t currently linked up to its network, rural businesses must lease expensive lines or wait for BT to improve their local infrastructure. At best, some parts of Kidderminster, Bewdley and Stourport only have access to 17 Mbps (a theoretical maximum download speed of two megabytes a second, and a lot slower to upload) broadband BT connections, which is three times slower than a typical Virgin cable connection. Those farther afield can only dream of such speeds.
MMC can help your business install a broadband connection, where BT’s network reaches, to improve the services your company can access and the speeds at which you can use them. We can monitor Virgin and BT’s progress in rolling out faster broadband and let you know when faster speeds are available.