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More businesses are on the net

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Small and medium sized businesses are increasing their use of the Internet, new research published this week by Oftel reveals.

Research of 700 small and medium sized businesses shows that:


  • A total of 93 % of medium businesses and 69 % of small businesses are now connected or in the process of connecting to the Internet;
  • A fifth of businesses are now using a form of unmetered Internet package;
  • Businesses use a wide range of different Internet service providers, taking into account cost, speed of access and content of site.
  • Over 70 % of those connected said that they were using the Internet more now than when they were first connected.

Commenting on the findings, David Edmonds, Director General of Telecommunications said today:

“Nearly all the medium sized businesses and well over half the small businesses surveyed either used the Internet or were in the process of getting Internet access.”

“Cost is a major factor when deciding which provider to use, and I am pleased that nearly one-fifth of businesses have chosen unmetered access as the most cost-effective way of using the Internet.”

“However, our research shows that a lack of understanding of the potential benefits of the Internet discourages businesses from getting access.”

“Websites such as http://www.telecomsadvice.org and http://www.ukonlineforbusiness.gov.uk have been set up by industry and government to encourage small businesses to make the most of telecommunications and the Internet.

“Our research shows that businesses are actively shopping around to get the best deal for their telecoms services. For example, more than half of medium businesses were using more than one telecoms supplier.”

The survey forms part of Oftel’s ongoing programme of research. The results will be used in Oftel’s current reviews of the mobile phone and dial-up Internet markets, as well as in ongoing policy work and to test policy implementation.

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