The UK's connectivity conundrum.

Words, benedict smith

Anyone spent time in the Scottish Highlands recently? Beautiful mountains, lochs, and an all round lovely place to switch off - but a complete and utter nightmare if you’re in desperate need of a good broadband connection, or half decent mobile signal.

If poor connectivity in the Highlands is acceptable, then the Cotswolds it shouldn't be. Find yourself just an hour and a half from London and you’ll need to drive to the top of the hill and wave your phone around in the air to get just one bar to make a call. Ridiculous.

And if you were thinking this is just a problem in rural areas, think again. According to latest stats, one in six people in London of all places suffer from poor internet connection. As a world centre for business, this is more than just an annoying inconvenience. It’s costly. London sits as far down as 26th in the table for European cities with the best broadband. Bucharest of all places leads the pack.

Of course, for those of us who don’t need to spend our lives connected, reachable and just a phone call away, this works just fine. Downing tools, and quite literally switching off is necessary, enjoyable and the perfect remedy to recharge your batteries. But for the millions of people running their own business in the UK, many of whom work remotely and from home, poor connectivity is a sizeable pain in the backside. And one of the greatest things about working for yourself - freedom - is being restricted.

What's the solution? Because it’s affecting the way we do business. Communications technology has liberated the modern workforce, but without big improvements it’s holding back a new wave of freelancers and remote workers.

In the run up to the 2015 General Election, each major political party outlined their commitment to rolling out high-speed broadband to the whole of the UK. And true to their word, The Conservatives have recently announced that by 2017, 95% of the UK will have super-fast broadband. Okay, it’s not 100%, but not far from it. But in the meantime, we will have to wait and hope for the best.

Connectivity a royal pain your backside too? Get commenting...

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