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James Warner, MD of fibre broadband specialists Glide Business, discusses the impact that poor internet connections can have on the UK’s small businesses.

Having high-speed internet connectivity is crucial in the business world, but particularly for smaller or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in order for them to keep up with its customer demand and competitors.

There are many factors that will help SMEs become successful, and having a fast and reliable connection is a simple solution to a lot of problems that will put a business at an advantage.

To help SMEs identify potential challenges we’ve outlined the five biggest challenges that businesses face when suffering with poor internet speed. 

Internal communications 

Internal communications such as the intranet, email, e-newsletters and webinars are vital to a smooth-running SME, by keeping employees connected and up to date with company information, which are all heavily impacted by slow internet connectivity.

One common cause of this problem is the contention ratio, which slows down connectivity when multiple people are trying to use one internet line at the same time. An employee survey that has been sent out company wide for staff to complete would be an example of this.

The industry standard ratio is 20:1, although to tackle this issue, we offer a ratio of up to 5:1, this will ensure that everyone stays informed and internal messages are shared more effectively.

External communications

Having a seamless communication with the customers is just as important as having strong internal communications. Fast and reliable communication has become the norm in society, so individuals have also come to expect this from businesses. 

A strong digital communication platform, whether it be online contact or social media, is very effective for any SME. Being able to interact quickly and directly with the customer is expected in the digital age and if a business is failing to meet this standard then it is missing out on a huge market.

Digital infrastructure

The Cloud is becoming more and more popular among businesses in order for them to reap the benefits of being able to deliver outcomes quickly and enhance innovation. However, using cloud solutions such as Salesforce requires a large consumption of data.

To make sure that an SME is using The Cloud to its fullest and getting everything possible from it, broadband speeds need to be quick and reliable. If the internet connection isn’t strong, uploads will slow significantly and other online tools that your business uses will also take a hit in terms of performance.


For any business to be successful, productivity in the workplace has to be at its peak in order for employees to perform at their best; a strong internet connection is vital to this. If the connectivity slows, then inevitably, so does the speed of the work. The amount of time lost from having poor internet connection can have a huge impact on the results and growth of businesses. 

It might seem like a loss of money by paying extra for a fast fibre connection, however, this is an investment that will improve the productivity in your business and lead to higher profit in the longer term. 

Buffering broadband

Poor internet connection can cause delays in processing data, which affects latency and therefore causes buffering for things such as video.

Latency and buffering can cause a significant amount of stress for employees and affects morale across the workplace, as well as numerous issues with upload and download speeds.

To avoid the majority of latency issues, installing fibre broadband will make a noticeable difference and stop employees wanting to throw their laptop out of a window.