Unreliable networks limit flexible working

public wifi

New research has revealed that one of the biggest frustrations facing  UK business is unreliable and costly communication networks that limit flexible working. The  study by network support company Lifeline IT and Talk Business magazine has revealed that despite IT being vital to 70% of businesses and nearly half regularly working remotely whilst ‘on the road’, 80% say access to reliable and fast public Wi-Fi is their biggest concern.

A further 57% cited poor mobile reception and ‘dropping calls’ as another problem, with 49% of those questioned being frustrated at having to pay for sub-standard Wi-Fi. And with a third of businesses admitting they have been targeted by cyber criminals, the safety of remote working is also a key issue, with 78% concerned about the security of open networks used by themselves and their employees.

Commenting on the study, Daniel Mitchell of Lifeline IT said:   “Although there have been huge developments in the range of devices now available so employees don’t have to be desk-bound, the infrastructure needed to service these state-of the-art smartphones and tablets does not always match-up. It’s particularly frustrating for businesses when they see such vast improvements in other parts of Europe, where efficient, free public Wi-Fi is commonplace.”

The research polled businesses across a range of sectors, including finance, retail, education, government and banking, in order to gain an understanding of the key IT issues they face. Three-quarters called for improved, safer and free Wi-Fi to be widely available in the UK, and 44% want to see an increase in 4g coverage (fourth generation of mobile telecommunications technology).

These findings present a challenge both to Government, and to network suppliers. If the benefits of flexible working are to be fully realised, fast, reliable, and secure network coverage needs to become more widely available to organisations and individuals.

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