Slow internet revealed as small businesses’ biggest time-waster

25th January 2016

  • Research finds each small business employee loses 15 minutes every day to slow broadband connections
  • Virgin Media Business today launches 300Mbps – the UK’s fastest, widely available broadband speed for small businesses

25th January 2016 – Slow internet speed has emerged as small businesses’ biggest time-waster, according to a new study commissioned by Virgin Media Business. The findings also reveal that senior decision makers in small businesses believe the average employee loses 15 minutes a day to slow internet speeds, meaning that a business with eight employees could lose a full day of work each week, waiting for their connection to catch up*.

The online research, conducted by YouGov with 1,103 senior decision makers in UK small businesses, marks the launch of Virgin Media Business’s new, ultrafast broadband packages including a 300Mbps product that’s almost four times faster than its competitors.

The research shows 57% of small businesses believe that the internet is critical to their operation and that they wouldn’t be able to function without it. However, poor connections are becoming detrimental to their daily operations.

Faster speeds can provide small businesses with a significant online boost – opening then up to new technologies and allowing greater productivity. Virgin Media Business’ new ultrafast broadband packages can help businesses get more from their internet connection, offering speeds of 50Mbps, 100Mbps, 200Mbps and 300Mbps.

When small businesses were asked what they would do if they could complete their daily tasks more quickly, the top three responses were spending more quality time with family (40%), having dinner with their partner (30%) and going to the gym or playing sport (30%).

Other findings from the research include:

  • Slow internet speeds tied with customer service queries as the biggest distractions from senior decision makers’ main tasks at work (33%)
  • Over a third of small and medium sized businesses (34%) think a faster internet connection would accelerate their growth overall
  • Online activities are high on the strategic agenda for 2016, with a quarter prioritising online advertising and 23% prioritising building their social media presence in order for their company to grow over the next 12 months

Peter Kelly, Managing Director, Virgin Media Business, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK’s economy but need the right tools and technology to thrive. Our ultrafast broadband speeds are setting a new benchmark for business broadband and enabling businesses to reach their full digital potential by doing more, faster.”

In October, Virgin Media Business launched a report, 'The UK's Digital Opportunity', which revealed digital technologies could provide a £56 billion boost to small businesses, as well as creating over 920,000 new jobs.

Over the coming years Virgin Media is investing £3 billion in its infrastructure to bring the fastest broadband to nearly 17 million UK homes and businesses.


Notes to Editors

*A small business with eight employees used for illustrative purposes only. Eight people losing 15 minutes for five days equals 600 minutes, or ten hours of time, lost. According to the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, businesses with 0-9 employees account for 96% of all UK businesses.