London SMEs are wasting £37m a year on unwanted landlines

London SMEs are wasting a whopping £37m a year on unwanted landlines, a report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) and communications provider Relish has found.

According to the report, London SMEs lose over 50,000 working days each year waiting for broadband installation. That amounts to £7.8m lost in productivity as a result.

The report revealed that the capital is lagging behind in broadband speeds. While central London boroughs clock up the lowest download speeds, East London, which include the Silicon Roundabout, has the second-slowest speeds in the whole of Greater London.

Surprisingly, just 6% of London SMES have access to superfast broadband

Over a quarter (27%) of London’s SMEs have stated that they will change their broadband provider in the next year.

Nicholas James, CEO of Relish, said: “SMEs play a crucial role in shaping the future of the capital and fast broadband in London should be available for all. We have created a portfolio of services that fulfill the demands of central London businesses which are shaping the future of London.”

Colm Sheehy, senior economist at CEBR, said: “The fact that Central London has the highest concentration of SMEs suffering from low broadband speeds has implications for productivity in London’s economy. In addition, the requirement to have a landline for most broadband services despite nearly two thirds of SMEs being able to operate effectively without it indicates that businesses are getting poor value for money from their landline.”

Paul Dolman-Darrall, founder of Gamevy, a gaming consultancy that creates playable quiz shows said: “Our new technology start-up has faced many business challenges since launching but we never thought broadband would be one of them. Despite residing in an office on the edge of EC1, a mere two minutes from the City of London, we were unable to get fibre-optic broadband. As a company of 10 people requiring heavy data usage this was absolutely ludicrous. Once we had moved offices we needed a service that was quick, cost effective but also able to be delivered speedily without the additional costs and delays of waiting for a line to be installed.”

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