Many SMEs Unhappy With Internet Access

17 Oct 2014

UFB connections increasing

Over a third of SME business operators from around the country are unhappy with both access to the internet and the cost of their connection, according to the latest MYOB Digital Nation report.

In the nationwide survey of over 1000 business operators, 38% of SME operators reported dissatisfaction with the cost of their plan, while 33% were dissatisfied with internet access (speed and reliability). Levels of dissatisfaction have remained constant over the year.

Rural SMEs (44%) are much more likely to be dissatisfied with their internet access compared to those in metropolitan areas (27%). Otago/Southland based operators were more dissatisfied with the cost of their internet plan at 51%, compared to 25% of Waikato based operators, who have the lowest dissatisfaction levels.

MYOB Business Division General Manager, James Scollay says access to the internet is extremely important for modern businesses, especially those operating in more remote areas.

“The internet provides a platform for engagement in both the domestic and the international market – even for the smallest business with a unique product or service to sell and story to tell,” says James Scollay. “For smaller businesses too, it levels the playing field, enabling them to build awareness, create a depth of customer engagement and connect with new markets.”

UFB connection increasing

One fifth of SME operators (19%) said they were currently connected to UFB, up from 14% in the March Business Monitor. 72% were not connected to UFB and 8% did not know.

SME business operators were asked what benefits UFB has had or would have on their business. The main benefits were associated with speed and reliability – improved Internet connection (63%) and better download and upload speeds (62%). Almost a quarter of operators (23%) could see no benefits in UFB.

An increasing proportion of operators saw a number of benefits of UFB however, particularly:

  • Improved Internet connection (up from 56% to 63%)
  • Reduced costs associated with telecommunications (up from 27% to 33%)
  • Better video conferencing (up from 15% to 21%)
  • Enabling more people to work remotely (up from 11% to 17%)
  • Enabling more e-commerce activity (up from 9% to 14%)

Over half the operators (57%) not currently connected to the UFB believed it would make a positive impact on their business.

“In this survey, we are seeing growing numbers of businesses taking advantage of the benefits of the internet – especially high speed connections,” says James Scollay.

“But there are also factors holding the country back – like access to cheaper, high speed data and connectivity, particularly in our vital rural sectors.

“For the last several years, MYOB has been on a mission to get more businesses engaged with the internet, through initiatives ranging from education to free website building tools. We believe that becoming one of the world’s most connected nations could make a real difference, not just to business owners and operators, but their employees and communities as well – opening new opportunities, increasing skills and supporting higher productivity and greater returns.

“It would be a tragedy if the growth potential businesses have identified through the use of the internet is stymied by an infrastructure that doesn’t keep pace with the needs of businesses, or expensive plans that price them out of the market.”

For MYOB product information, research results, business tips, discussions, client service and more visit the MYOB website, or its blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube sites.

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For further comment or other information please contact:

Sarah Putt, MYOB NZ Public Affairs Manager

P: 09 925 3515 / M: 029 777 0256/ E: sarah.putt@myob.com

Gerard Blank, The Agency Communications Limited Director

P: 03 341 5841 / M: 0275 243 629 / E: gerard@theagencynz.co.nz

About MYOB

Established in 1991, MYOB is New Zealand’s leading accounting software provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across New Zealand and Australia, by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory, mobile payments and more. MYOB also provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and now spends NZ$35+ million annually on research and development. For more information, visit myob.co.nz.

About the MYOB Business Monitor

The MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of 1,000+ New Zealand small and medium business owners and managers, from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors. It has run since 2009, commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton. This most recent survey ran in July/August 2014. The Monitor researches business performance and attitudes in areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline, technology usage and the government. The weighting of respondents by both geographical location and sector is based on overall market proportions as established by Statistics New Zealand and is drawn from an independent survey group, which includes both MYOB clients and non-clients.