Superfast broadband is the lifeblood of start-ups in the ‘new work’ economy

Ofcom's report on SME access to broadband underlines the importance of digital infrastructure to city economies.

Ofcom, the independent regulator for the communications industries, has recently released a new report warning that around 400,000 small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK are missing out on access to superfast broadband.

The importance for city economies of addressing this issue shouldn't be underestimated. As our Small Business Outlook 2015 report highlights, access to broadband is a major factor which affects where small businesses in the most innovative 'new work' industries in the creative, digital and professional sectors, choose to locate.

These types of SMEs are becoming increasingly important to cities and the economy, as they play a key role in boosting employment, productivity and wages. But they are also concentrated in particular cities (such as London, Cambridge, Reading and Milton Keynes). This is because certain conditions help them to thrive – including broadband infrastructure, which is especially important for digital firms. More...

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