Ofcom review 'shines a welcome light' on business telecoms

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A new report into UK telecoms has been welcomed by the FSB

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has issued a response to the publication of a new review into the quality of UK broadband and telecoms services from industry regulator Ofcom.

Entitled Making communications work for everyone: Initial conclusions from the Strategic Review of Digital Communications, the report has revealed the interim conclusions of the regulator regarding the future of the sector.

It stated that poor quality of service - such as delays in remedying faults or lower than expected broadband speeds - continue to be a major issue facing the industry, and this should therefore be a top priority to be addressed by the nation's telecoms providers in the coming months.

Ofcom also announced plans to introduce automatic compensation schemes for consumers and businesses when things go wrong with their service.

Moreover, the regulator outlined further calls for the instigation of a new Universal Service Obligation, which would implement a minimum broadband speed of 10 Mbps across all parts of the UK. It would then also be increased in line with consumer demand.

Responding to the report, FSB policy director Mike Cherry commented: "Poor quality of service is a major barrier to firms who want to do more online. Ofcom is right to focus on raising minimum standards. Automatic compensation for poor fault repair is also a positive development. Together these should provide a strong financial incentive for providers to improve the quality of service on offer.

"Getting access to superfast broadband is an ongoing issue with business properties continuing to lag the domestic rollout. A stretching Universal Service Obligation for all premises is desperately needed to deliver acceptable levels of speed for small business consumers and put the UK in the digital fast lane."

Mr Cherry concluded that the rollout of the latest broadband systems to the nation's small businesses is helping many to revolutionise the way that they work.

However, the market still needs to be improved upon and efforts need to be made to ensure delays in the delivery of next-generation online services do not hinder the ambitions of firms that are keen to leverage this technology to boost their growth and scope of their business in the years to come.