As we've seen yet another leadership change here in the UK and an emphasis on prioritising growth, we must recognise that world-class connectivity is critical for London’s global competitiveness. UK infrastructure lags far behind international competition, ranking fifth lowest in the EU for fibre connectivity. If the UK is to compete on the world stage, we need to ensure the City’s infrastructure can keep up with that growth.
Bandwidth constraints mean that slow speeds and freezing video calls are all too common, and ultimately limit productivity, but why? Faster connectivity – 10Gbps and beyond – is possible right now. 10Gbps isn’t widely available because incumbent providers are looking to protect their margins, or because their network hasn’t been built with that capacity.
Currently, most London businesses are reliant on Openreach, meaning they are all essentially buying connectivity from the same infrastructure asset, even if they are purchasing through a reseller. These legacy structures have led to poor customer service, inflated, inconsistent pricing models and overly complex installation processes. This results in a product not fit for purpose.
All of this is hampering productivity and restricting the growth of our economy. We need superior digital infrastructure to ensure businesses are not held back by something as basic as their bandwidth.
Our network is dedicated to business users only. We do everything ourselves in-house. Operating in this way removes the need for the resellers that are a precondition for accessing Openreach infrastructure. We deliver 10 Gbps as the new minimum standard, and can quickly ramp a business up to 100 Gbps. For any other supplier to do this would require them to rewire their entire network from scratch.
More needs to be done on an industry level to safeguard London from falling behind competitively. There are three actions which will unlock the potential of London’s businesses:
1. Connectivity has become an essential utility. In abundance, connectivity will enable growth and power the shift to London becoming a smart city. Companies must have access to a purpose-built fibre network, designed purely for businesses, without the distraction of catering for residential consumers.
2. Make 10 Gbps the mandatory minimum standard for business connections, so bandwidth should never be an issue. We will all come to expect it sooner rather than later. It should be the norm now.
3. Champion a new business model for telecoms built on great service, resilient networks and open, transparent contracts with customers.
For London to continue as a global leader, a hub of innovation attracting the best talent, and driving investment in our capital, businesses must be able to operate without limit. If we don’t get serious about removing bandwidth limitations, with the same focus that we look at removing other factors restricting business growth, we risk London falling further behind. It’s time for a step-change in the industry, and we’re proud to be at the forefront.
By Tim Creswick,
Chief Executive and founder of Vorboss