Compass Insurance parks in broadband plea to politicians
Holiday parks which struggle with sluggish broadband connections have used the run-up to the general election to voice their concerns to parliamentary candidates.
Compass Insurance says that many park businesses which met with politicians during the campaign period took the opportunity to call for a faster broadband service in rural areas.
Compass, which provides insurance cover to hundreds of UK parks and their holiday home customers, believes many parks clearly see poor broadband as an obstacle to growth.
Park owners cited a raft of problems resulting from poor internet connections, including headaches in administering their e-bookings and websites as well as on-line documentation such as insurance.
Parks also reported frustrations expressed by customers unable to access wi-fi – regarded by many people as a necessity whether at work, at home or on holiday.
Compass managing director Dave Sheath said: “We heard from many parks which hosted visits from local politicians this spring, especially during the British tourism weeks in April.
“It was apparent that a lot of park owners used these meetings to express fears that rural enterprises were being left behind in the digital race – and that the parks industry was being especially hard hit.
“It means that a huge contributor to Britain’s tourism economy is being put at a disadvantage by connection speeds often massively slower than most urban businesses enjoy,” added Dave.
There was, he suggested, an urgent need to ensure that previous targets for expanding high-speed broadband coverage set by Parliament would be met as quickly as possible.
Earlier this year, the Government said its goal was to provide 95% of the country with access to “super-fast” broadband of 30Mbps and above by 2017.
Meanwhile, said Dave, reports suggest that many parks are struggling on less than a walking pace of 10Mbps, even dropping to a crawl of just 2Mbps in some remote locations.
“We applaud those parks which have so far taken the initiative to lobby their local political representatives, and we hope MPs will take these concerns back to Westminster,” he said.
“For a business to find itself on the wrong side of the digital divide is these days not just an inconvenience, but a serious impediment to efficiency,” added Dave.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Jon Boston .
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