Improved broadband services could help the UK's economic recovery, according to a new report.
Research by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and KPMG has highlighted this as one area of infrastructural investment the government could make to improve business conditions.
In a survey of companies across the country, it found 85 per cent think faster and more reliable broadband is critical to their success and firms now rate online access as being as important as transport and energy.
The report also claimed more needs to be done to increase the awareness of the business benefits of the internet. It said the economy could generate an additional £18 billion per year if more companies sold their goods and carried out marketing activities online.
While the business advantages of the web are many, a significant number of companies are unable to realise them due to the lack of a fast and reliable connection. Such firms should consider switching to satellite broadband, which is proven to provide a high-quality service regardless of location.
Internet access was highlighted as just one of many areas that the CBI and KPMG believe the government should invest in to boost the economy.
John Cridland, CBI director-general, stated: "Quality infrastructure is vital for boosting exports, unlocking business investment across the UK and supporting our leading firms - an essential element of a meaningful industrial strategy."
Richard Threlfall, KPMG partner, said the importance of infrastructure cannot be debated and is vital to "bottom line profitability and international competitiveness".
The CBI and KPMG are not the first to call for the government to spend more on improving broadband services in recent weeks. Earlier this month, a petition was launched asking for the coalition to scrap its High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) project and spend the funding for the scheme on improving internet access instead.
Some £42.6 billion is expected to be spent on HS2 and campaigner Michael Coults, who created the petition, believes the UK would benefit more if this funding was channelled into broadband.
Posted by Craig Roberts