A slew of reports this month painted a rosy picture of Broadband Britain, highlighting the positive effects high speed internet access has already had on UK business and underlining the optimism amongst those still wanting to upgrade.

A report on the state of rural broadband availability in the 30 member states of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development states that Britain is leading the way in broadband availability with 95 per cent national coverage expected by 2005. This puts the UK firmly ahead of most industrialised nations, with Belgium Denmark and Switzerland being the only countries to offer higher coverage.

According to a survey of 400 companies carried out by broadband provider NTL, 56 per cent of the UK’s small businesses have already upgraded to broadband Internet, and Scottish firms lead the nation with 62 per cent adoption. The research found that workers typically save 90 minutes a day, equating to 52 days of recouped productivity per year for the average small business. Two thirds of companies surveyed said that broadband had significantly improved their ability to communicate effectively with customers and suppliers.

In a separate report carried out on behalf of the Welsh Assembly, findings showed that over half of Welsh workers said they would be more likely to set up their own business if they had broadband access and over 70% said they thought broadband to be a driving force behind the Welsh economy.

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