Low-quality broadband disrupting SME progress

Connectivity, Irish News, Technology | Thu 31 May | Author – Business & Finance
rural broadband

A Big Red Cloud survey of 250+ business owners/managers across Ireland shows that 96% of SMEs are at a competitive disadvantage due to poor-quality broadband.

Online presence

The majority of Irish SMEs feel there is definitely a need for improvement when it comes to the presence of their business.

Marc O’Dwyer, CEO of Big Red Cloud, said:

Being in the FinTech space we are acutely aware of the fact that while developments in IT across the board can help businesses connect with their customers, and provide better products and services to them, leveraging this IT in an effective and cost-efficient manner brings with it a myriad of challenges. But which ones are most businesses throughout the country grappling with? This is what we sought to identify when we undertook this survey.

Marc O'Dwyer Big Red Cloud

He continued: “A staggering 96% of the businesses we surveyed are in agreement that businesses in rural Ireland are at a huge competitive disadvantage due to poor quality broadband. What’s more, our survey looked at businesses in all areas of the country – not just rural – and of these 56% think that broadband is the single biggest challenge facing Irish SMEs.”

Other issues facing Irish SMEs

The Big Red Cloud Business Sentiment also found that staff issues come second in IT-related challenges to SMEs (16%). More than one in ten SME owners/managers think cybercrime is the biggest problem for Irish SMEs.

With many new technologies facing companies every day, it’s difficult not to face issues such as these.

The downfall of local economies

According to O’Dwyer, poor broadband will be a major blow for local businesses and enterprises.

Resent research from the ESRI revealed that local broadband access seems to attract almost all types of firms, while the appeal of an area for high-tech firms is also boosted by availability of high-speed ‘middle mile’ infrastructure (Metropolitan Area Networks).  So locations that are unable to deliver in those areas will lose out when it comes to business start-ups.

Barriers like this will only draw further business into already-established urban areas and away from rural areas with potential.