CLA Member Marcus Harrison has considerable experience helping those in hard to reach areas get connected.
It is really rewarding helping clients that have slow broadband in “the last 5%” join the 21st century connectivity super-highway. They are typically in remote or rural locations and want better broadband for varying reasons, but they all share at least one of these 5 motivating factors to find a solution. I call them the TEMPO factors; Time, Efficiency, Money, Property value and Opportunity.
Understandably, one of the significant frustrations is how long everything takes. Sending emails is painfully slow and connecting to social media or other online services is nigh on impossible. Even online shopping instead of a long commute to the nearest shops proves problematic.
Many clients have accessed broadband funding schemes that were available, and there was a subtle irony that these funding applications had to be completed online – no, I’m not making that up!! It’s a source of amusement now, but at the time it was a perfect illustration of the delays a poor broadband service caused on a day to day basis.
This is usually pivotal in the minds of business clients. They struggle in comparison to their competitors. Poor broadband means it is usually quicker to have a diary to hand to take a booking or make an appointment rather than put it in an online calendar; it is easier to have a ledger or rolodex to keep customer contact details rather than an online CRM; and never mind such luxuries as online banking and accounting – it is quicker to go off to the bank and keep your physical receipts. It almost sounds Dickensian to me now having had various technologies available for some time now, but it is still a reality for many in the last 5%.
Poor broadband simply costs businesses money and I’ll give you a few examples.
A training company had to book online test slots from the main body, which were sold online on a first come, first serve basis. Their poor broadband frequently meant they could only book half the slots they needed, which meant they could double their turnover with better broadband.
A company in the automotive sector wanted a video conferencing facility because all of their large clients were in mainland Europe and it was costing a fortune in travel and accommodation just to have a meeting.
There are solutions for better broadband for all budgets and for businesses such as these a reasonable improvement is worth the investment.
One of the most stunning statistics I have come across is the one from a Rightmove survey. 1 In this survey of over 3,000 people it was said that poor broadband could wipe off as much as 20% of the value of properties!!
This is NOT just manifesting itself in the residential market. Many business parks and business centres have bitten the bullet and upgraded infrastructure at their own cost, because it is what their tenants demand and expect. Businesses can ill-afford loyalty if the infrastructure is costing them custom and companies move elsewhere if they are not happy.
Broadband is increasingly being see as the 4th utility now, and for many it is becoming the most important. Indeed, the UN recently declared broadband to be a basic human right.2 When considering renting or buying a business premises nowadays, the first question is “How fast is the broadband?”
There is no doubt that poor broadband has an impact on the opportunities available to all of us. We use technology to make our lives more convenient; shopping online, controlling our energy usage remotely and streaming/downloading our entertainment are some of the things taken for granted by many of us.
In the business world, there is an even greater need to be on top of the latest developments, communicate with customers easily and take advantage of efficiencies to make them stronger and more competitive.
All this demand relies on one thing; the baseline infrastructure to be strong enough to deliver the service they crave. In an online world this means that technology is only as good as the broadband that supports it.
In summary, all of these TEMPO factors have one running theme – LOSS. Nowadays everyone could get SuperFast broadband if money was no object, but that isn’t usually the case and it’s only right that people select technologies, solutions and providers that are the most cost-effective to meet their needs. So the question is how can you pick up the TEMPO on your own SuperFast Broadband delivery?
At NotSpot Networks, we act as a portal of best advice for alternative broadband technologies. Our mission is to put you in touch with companies and solutions that are best placed to meet your needs, often delivering a solution within 90 days of enquiry. We realise the frustration of rural communities and want to assist in the best way we can. If you have a query about your area, we will always be happy to see if one of the excellent suppliers in our network can help you.
1.The Telegraph, 2 March 2014, Keith Perry
2.Forbes magazine, 15 November 2011, Randall Lane