Headlines: October 31st, 2000

Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) are now using the internet as a key business tool, according to new research by Oftel. 93 % of medium businesses and 69 % of small businesses are now connected or in the process of connecting to the Internet, and one fifth are using a form of unmetered package to gain access.The research shows that a lack of understanding of the potential benefits of the Internet is the main discouragement to businesses getting on line.Oftel has praised websites such as www.telecomsadvice.org and www.ukonlineforbusiness.gov.uk set up to encourage small businesses to make the most of telecommunications and the Internet.

UK online for business (formerly an Information Society Initiative) is a partnership between industry and Government geared to help British business – particularly SMEs – to get the full benefit of new technologies. www.telecomsadvice.org.uk is an independently edited web site containing advice for small businesses on telecoms equipment and services including the Internet with case studies of smallbusinesses and their telecoms problems.

Link: www.oftel.gov.uk/cmu/research/bint1000.h