Why SMEs Should Invest in Full Fibre Internet

To keep a competitive advantage in their respective industries, SMEs prioritise growth by boosting their revenue. Many do so by tapping previous clients, acquiring new ones, and even releasing new offerings. Yet that might not be enough. In today’s digital age, SMEs should also invest in technology. Chatbots, management software, and online payment processing platforms are all tools that can streamline business operations and improve customer experiences. Despite that, our post Why Tech Investment Should be Biggest Priority for SMEs in 2024 finds that many small businesses are actually doing the opposite by neglecting tech innovation altogether.

Over 40% of SMEs still use outdated software and hardware that hinders efficiency—even though leveraging newer tools can enhance productivity and morale. That may be due to an issue even closer to the source of tech neglect in SMEs: slow internet connectivity. After all, smaller companies can’t set up new software or make their workflows more efficient without it.

The internet serves as the foundation for long-term growth in today’s modern business landscape, which is why SMEs experiencing tech woes may want to resolve them by improving their connectivity. That’s where investing in full fibre internet can help.

What is full fibre internet?

When looking at the broadband deal your SME is currently using, you’ll likely find that you’re using regular fibre broadband. Also known as ‘fibre-to-the-cabinet’ or FTTC, it involves using wires that run from a service provider’s broadband exchange to a telephone cabinet usually located outside your office—and from there, lead to the inside of your premises itself. The length of these wires can be an issue: the farther away you are from the nearest telephone cabinet, the slower your connection will be. According to Electropages, FTTC also uses copper wires for part of the journey, which are rapidly ageing and cannot accommodate current broadband speeds. Full fibre broadband or ‘fibre-to-the-premises’ (FTTP) eliminates those issues by exclusively using more modern fibre optic wires and connecting them directly to your office. As a result, TechRadar notes that FTTP can increase FTTC’s average download speeds of 30 to 80 MB per second to more than 1 GB per second.

How can SMEs benefit from investing in it?

Faster, symmetrical browsing speeds

When you switch away from FTTC, you’ll get internet speeds that are 44x faster, no matter the distance. That can eliminate lag in SME operations and improve efficiency in everything from communications to file retrieval. Yet providers including Zzoomm exemplify how full fibre broadband does so much more: it can also provide symmetrical internet speeds. That means download speeds will match upload speeds—meaning no more frozen Zoom calls or failed data backups to the cloud. With full fibre internet, you can thus more effectively integrate tech into your operations without worrying that digital transformation will disrupt existing workflows.

Consistent and scalable services 

Though it can feel like a little bit of internet downtime can’t really impact your business in the long term, that’s far from the truth. An IT Pro report placed business losses due to internet failures at a whopping £3.7 billion in 2023 alone, and SMEs bore the brunt of them. Even a few hours of wasted productivity leads to reduced revenue, significantly affecting revenue and potential for growth. That can all be prevented with full fibre internet: the cables used in FTTP are more resistant to corrosive and electromagnetic damage and can provide more consistent connectivity. Their capacity also means they can accommodate your broadband needs as your business grows, even as you replace legacy software with new technology.

Enhanced security

Due to a scarcity of resources, SMEs are often more vulnerable to data breaches that can take away from their profits. Investing in FTTP can ensure your broadband deal offers additional layers of protection. Unlike FTTC connections, it uses light transmissions, making it harder for unauthorised parties to access your data. Some full fibre providers go even further, with Virgin Media UK offering secure broadband routers that allow users to monitor internet activity in real-time and notify them when they detect unusual cyber behaviour. That can help you be more proactive about your company’s data when it may be vulnerable during tech adoption.

Your SME must embrace technology to survive in today’s digital business market. If slow connectivity holds you back, investing in full fibre internet can help streamline the process. Check out our other articles on Prestige Awards for more relevant SME advice.