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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’ve campaigned for an ambitious Universal Service Obligation (USO) to be introduced.
  • We called on Ofcom to introduce new measures 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 at least 10 Mbps
  • To have better advice on upgrading broadband connections
 “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...



  • The Government has introduced a Universal Service Obligation which will create a legal right to request a minimum connection speed.
  • Ofcom have created a voluntary Code of Conduct for business broadband providers which increases the information available to businesses at the point of purchase.
  • Ofcom has also launched an SME portal which sets out easy steps small businesses can take to improve the quality of service they receive.
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