The news that the new government has revised plans to roll out broadband by 2012 may affect small businesses and their online marketing. We’ve mentioned before on this blog our anticipation of the greater functionality that all businesses will be able to include on websites once the whole country is enjoying a fast connection… well, if you had great plans for an all-singing, all-dancing site, better put them to one side. The target is now 2015.
One remarkable fact that comes from the reports of the new government’s back-down is that as well as the two million homes in the UK who cannot get speeds as high as 2Mbps, about 160,000 households still cannot get any form of broadband at all. These are homes in remote and rural areas, who were presumably without a power of any sort not terribly long ago, but it is certainly worth remembering that you may still have customers on dial-up… if they have internet access at all. Others may be accessing via cyber cafes and community centers, meaning hurried visits as the clock ticks away on a paid-for slot.
The low-tech solution? If you happen to have rich content such as videos or Flash, offer a pared-down site with the essentials on it too. Plus, you might want to give a phone number you can be contacted on, alongside your email address. Two million households represent a lot of potential customers, and they will be grateful for your concessions.