LONDON’S current standard of digital connectivity is holding back small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), industry bodies and government officials have warned.
At a debate hosted by Westminster Business Council, panellists emphasised the need for investment into digital infrastructure to maintain London’s competitiveness as a global tech hub and urged for greater collaboration between private and public sector entities.
“London’s digital connectivity for SMEs simply isn’t good enough,” said Lee Perkins, chief executive of internet infrastructure provider M24Seven.
“It’s archaic and the hand brake is on, which stops these entrepreneurs and businesses doing what they do best: creating, innovating and growing the capital’s economy.”
Perkins was joined on the panel by Julian McGougan, head of technology at TechUK; Ken Wright, managing director of London night-time venue Phoenix Artist Club and Jonathan Glanz, lead member for broadband and connectivity at Westminster City Council.
The panel also called for better education for SMEs on the benefits of digital connectivity.
Commenting on the panel’s findings, digital minister Matt Hancock said: “Digital connectivity is front and centre for London’s economic growth and a key priority for the government. Small businesses are key drivers of the economy, job creation and innovation. London can’t do without them and they must get the full support that they deserve.”