On the 18th December 2012, Comet, a foremost leader in the sale of electronic goods closed its doors for the last time. Despite being a household name for almost 80 years, they will now become not much more than a memory, another victim of online shopping.

The fact is, the UK are now the world leaders in online shopping and if your business, whether it is retail or otherwise, isn’t keeping one eye on the internet ball, you too could find your doors closing for the last time.

The advantages of fibre-based business broadband shouldn’t be ignored if you’re a business that operates online. If you move with the times, the increase in connection speeds alone can up your productivity to the point where you are one step ahead of your competitors, making you more profitable and increasing your chances of long term success.

However, not all ‘fibre’ broadband is created equally and whilst many businesses will only be able to get run-of-the-mill Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) broadband, in a few areas, businesses have access to a new breed of gigabit capable full Fibre–to-the-Premises (FTTP) services. Full fibre, formally only available to the largest and richest of businesses, has finally started to reach the long tail of small to medium businesses that have been left behind in the connectivity arms race. Two examples of where this is happening are Bournemouth and York.

In York, a project called The York Core is working in collaboration with the City of York council to provide large parts of the city with a full fibre optic infrastructure, which will help catalyse the speed and quality of the internet throughout the city.

On top of assisting businesses by way of an advantage over many others throughout the UK, York Core’s infrastructure will help everyone from council departments to schools, thus giving the entire city a head start from the ground up. As well as becoming more competitive, businesses throughout the city will be able to collaborate as they work quicker and more effectively together with other businesses in the area. Moving forward as one, the city of York will be just one of many that will see an improvement in the quality of services provided due to full fibre. More businesses will be financially viable and will have a far better chance of riding the difficult wave that is the current economic climate and as such will be stronger when the economy recovers by taking their business online.

This is because full fibre infrastructure effortlessly offers speeds of at least a gigabit per second immediately; combine this with upload speeds which match those of download and ultra-low-latency and it can make a significant impact on the streamlining of UK businesses.

A similar project is being developed in Bournemouth by a company called Gigler, enabling businesses to take full advantage of the most advanced digital infrastructure available anywhere in the world.

Downloading and file sharing is an area in which this ultra-fast broadband is making an impact. Every minute spent waiting for files to send or download is a minute wasted and with the economy the way it is at present, can you afford to be wasting valuable minutes whilst the competition are moving swiftly?

Since the emergence of cloud computing, there’s even more reason to access the fastest and most reliable broadband possible. The host of benefits that the cloud offers in terms of reducing costs and capital outlay, stand to meaningfully impact small businesses, but a firm’s ability to practically access them becomes the principal bottleneck to take-up. Without sufficient access speeds, the advantages fast disappear, as usage becomes a slow and laborious task.

The full fibre networks such as those deployed in York and Bournemouth represent the best business broadband access available and are giving some lucky businesses a real edge over the competition so if it’s available in your area, is something you can’t afford not to check out.

This article is contributed by Kerry Butters. She writes for the consumer advice site Broadband Genie, where you can find broadband deals and provider reviews.

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