More small businesses are using DSL as their main means of internet access at the expense of ISDN and dial-up, a new survey from the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) has found.
The research shows that whereas only 10pc of SMEs used DSL for internet access in 2003, this figure had jumped to 28pc in 2004. In addition, SMEs are increasingly using the internet as a business tool in transactions with suppliers and customers and are availing of more sophisticated applications such as online purchasing and payment.
ComReg’s annual survey of the telecommunications needs of SMEs, which polled more than 300 companies on their usage of and attitudes to fixed, mobile and internet services, also finds that 71pc of businesses believe there are savings to be made by changing their telecoms supplier, up from 64pc in 2003.
Just under one third of the firms polled said they were likely to invest in a range of telecoms solutions in the coming year including, fixed wireless access, firewall security technology, voice-over internet protocol telephony and 3G telephony.
In addition, awareness of carrier pre-select remains high among respondents: some 79pc of respondents said they were aware of the product.
Despite being launched less than six months ago, wholesale line rental has already been adopted by 8pc of SMEs. ComReg said it expects this figure to grow in 2005 as more providers offer the service.
Unsurprisingly, price was found to be the primary driver for SMEs when selecting a supplier of fixed-line or mobile services.
By Brian Skelly