The new research, conducted among 700 small
and medium enterprises (SMEs), shows that:
Internet penetration continues to rise amongst SMEs, with 92% of medium
businesses and 59% of small businesses connected;
Almost a quarter of surveyed SMEs are using more than one Internet Service
Provider (ISP), and 86% are satisfied with the information available to them
when choosing their ISP, package and type of Internet connection;
A fifth of small businesses and two-fifths of medium businesses have changed
their fixed telephony suppliers, with the majority finding this an easy process;
A third of SMEs have switched their mobile network, although some reported a
need for further information when making this change and also found it difficult
to compare different prices and packages.
Commenting on these findings, David
Edmonds, Director General of Telecommunications, said: "The number of businesses with an Internet connection has increased by
over ten percent in the past three months. Over sixty percent of surveyed
businesses are now connected with others likely to be 'on-line' soon.
"This research also shows that demand for other telecommunications
services from small and medium sized enterprises is growing too.
"Businesses are still making greater use of the choices available to
them. The website www.telecomsadvice.org.uk, gives further independent advice on
how businesses can take advantage of these choices, particularly for those who
find it difficult to compare the different packages available."
This latest quarterly survey is part of Oftel's continuing programme of
research and is used in ongoing policy work and market reviews.
A fair proportion of SMEs are using unmetered
services and many are going for fixed monthly fee access, which I'm sure has had
an effect on smaller companies decisions to go online.
Well done UK businesses for picking through the
minefield of service options, in spite of both BT and Oftel dragging there feet
when it comes to improving connectivity with high speed and more bandwidth.
We're still lagging way behind much of Europe in this area, so there's much
still to be done..