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Britain’s IT infrastructure fails to serve 1 in 4 hybrid workers, new study reveals

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Mode Solutions reveals the industries and locations affected by the UK’s insufficient IT infrastructure.

IT experts Mode Solutions have concluded, that on average, a quarter of workers in the UK’s top hybrid and remote working industries are underserved in their home internet requirements. Mode’s analysis of Ofcom’s Connected Nations Open Data helped to determine the viability of a fully remote workforce in industries offering greater flexibility.

The need for Superfast broadband, which constitutes as speeds of more than 24Mbps**, has never been more essential given that 87%* of the working population, who were office-bas ed before the pandemic, are now set to split their time between the office and home.

The industries offering the greatest flexibility in terms of remote and hybrid working, and their subsequent internet speed requirements are:

Industries offering greatest flexibilityInternet speed requirements***
IT & Telecoms60Mbps
Financial Services 48.5Mbps
General Insurance 47.5 Mbps
Leisure & Tourism 47.5 Mbps
Media, Digital & Creative33Mbps
Marketing & PR33Mbps
Recruitment Consultancy23.5 Mbps
Charity & Voluntary22.5 Mbps

Those working within these listed industries can ideally move to, and live in, almost anywhere across the country. However, with over half of these industries requiring more than 30Mpbs to operate smoothly, Mode has identified the percentage of each region that does not receive superfast broadband speeds of 30Mbps or higher:

Region% of region receiving under 30Mbps
Yorkshire and The Humber22.33%
North East22.25%
East of England 21.18%
South East20.99%
West Midlands20.71%
East Midlands20.56%
North West20.13%

Andy Fung, Technical Director at Mode Solutions comments, “The location of a business cannot easily be changed and with the continued rise of hybrid and remote working, it’s critical for businesses to undergo digital transformations to maximise the efficiency and connectivity of their IT infrastructure. They need to optimise their people and the resources available to them thrive as a business.”

The need for improvements to be made to the UK’s IT infrastructure is echoed by the Government’s £5 billion ‘Project Gigabit’, a major funding initiative aiming to deliver more than one million hard to reach homes with next generation broadband. In alignment with Mode’s findings, the project is taking place in regions such as the East of England and the North East, where over a fifth of homes do not receive superfast connectivity.

Andy adds “During a time of evolution, it’s important to assess and improve the UK’s infrastructure and Project Gigabit reflects the importance of this. Being connected personally and professionally is critical to improving business performance.”

Fortunately, for industries and workers who regularly rely on mobile internet access, super-fast 5G connectivity continues to increase across the UK. Leading provider, EE, who launched the UK’s first 5G network in May 2019,has recently announced that their 5G network has now passed 50% population coverage and plan to offer 5G anywhere in the UK by 2028.

Mode’s recent acquisition of IT managed services provider, eacs has extended the company’s geographical reach, resulting in a greater offering of integrated solutions to businesses across the nation, including the considerations needed for a hybrid and remote working infrastructure.

Whilst the UK waits for ‘blanket coverage’ superfast broadband, Mode has a number of strategies for companies supporting hybrid working to explore and benefit from. “Getting the right working practices, structures and networks in place now will reap rewards when we are all able to access superfast broadband” concludes Andy.

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