By Marcus Leach

Despite the economic gloom, the UK’s biggest Next Generation network operator is revealing today that 40 per cent more small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are accessing high-speed business broadband connections and next generation applications such as the cloud in the last 12 months alone.

The findings from TalkTalk Business customer data reveal that, over the last 12 months, 10,000 more small or medium-sized enterprises in the UK are now accessing a network that spans over 80 per cent of the country.

In the last 12 months, Salisbury has seen the biggest growth in SMEs now accessing high-speed broadband, with an increase of 46 per cent.

Salisbury — 46%
London — 44%
Hereford — 43%
Oxford — 42%
Worcester — 41%
Inverness — 39%
Swansea — 39%
Aberdeen — 38%
Gloucester — 37%
Cambridge — 36%

In contrast, Sheffield, Glasgow and Wakefield witnessed the smallest percentage increase in SMEs accessing the network, with the cities showing 14, 15 and 16 per cent growth respectively.

As a result of firms now being better connected, the last 12 months has also seen a 61 per cent increase in the number of employees working for SMEs which have high-speed broadband access — providing a shot in the arm for workforce productivity.

“Despite a pessimistic economic outlook, as the UKs largest network provider, it is encouraging to see such a significant increase in SMEs now connected to high-speed business grade broadband,” Andy Lockwood, TalkTalk Business’ transformation director said.

“Research we conducted estimated that UK SMEs are collectively losing £357 million in wasted labour costs and suffering up to 32.4 million hours of internet downtime per month through a reliance on ‘domestic’ rather than ‘business grade’ broadband connectivity.

“This underlines how vital it is for businesses of all sizes to be connected to a high speed network. It’s the gateway to the latest cloud technology and being on the right network increases speed and efficiency - ensuring long term economic growth.”

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