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The Issue

To compete in a global market small firms are increasingly dependent on a fit for purpose internet connection.

Our research shows nearly all (94 per cent) of small business owners rate a reliable broadband connection as critical to the success of their business.

While upload and download speeds are important to small firms, reliability and quality of service are also critical. Yet we’ve found widespread dissatisfaction with both the upload and download speeds and the quality of service available to both urban and rural businesses.

Action FSB have taken

  • We’re campaigning for a Universal Service Obligation (USO) to be introduced and set at 10 Mbps.
  • We want Ofcom to introduce a new ‘Broadband Code of Practice for Business’ to improve the quality of service for small business customers. 

Our Goal

We want to remove the barriers currently stopping small firms doing more online.
We’re campaigning for small businesses across the UK:

  • To have broadband connectivity of a minimum 10 Mbps
  • To have independent advice on upgrading broadband connections
  • To be able to better quantify the benefits of upgrading to higher speed broadband
 “We sell spare parts for portable, industrial heaters to customers in the UK, EU and the Middle East. On a good day our broadband hits 1.7 Mbps. We can just about get by but it’s very frustrating at times and not at all sustainable for the future” FSB Member.

Achievements in...



  • Our 2014 report ‘The Fourth Utility: Delivering universal broadband connectivity for small business across the UK’ brought media attention to the broadband issues small firms are facing.

  • It also put pressure on the Government to improve broadband connections for small firms.

  • Following the publication of the Fourth Utility report, Ofcom launched a major work programme investigating the needs of small businesses, echoing many of our recommendations.

Visit UK/Westminster section


  • We’re pressuring the Scottish Government to wire the country for the future and provide broadband speeds of 10Mbps by 2018-19 to all businesses, regardless of location.
  • We campaigned successfully for free Wi-Fi on all key commercial rail routes.
Visit Scotland section