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Care Home Operators – Is inadequate broadband connectivity preventing you implementing digital care systems ?

The UK government has recognised the importance of broadband connectivity for businesses including care homes and has implemented initiatives to improve coverage and speeds. For example, the Universal Service Obligation (USO) introduced in 2020 aims to provide a legal right to request a decent broadband connection of at least 10 Mbps. However, while 10 Mbps may be sufficient for small or home-based businesses with minimal online requirements, it clearly cannot meet the needs of larger businesses including care homes.

To address this issue, the UK government has set targets for nationwide gigabit-capable broadband coverage by 2025. This includes investing in full fibre and other advanced technologies to improve connectivity. Additionally, various commercial providers are expanding their broadband networks to reach more areas. The UK government has also invested in initiatives like the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) program, which aims to extend high-speed broadband to areas where commercial providers may not have found it economically viable to invest.

Despite these efforts, many areas are still facing challenges in accessing fast and reliable broadband. Broadband providers, like any business, aim to generate revenue and ensure profitability. This means they need to make strategic decisions regarding infrastructure investments based on factors such as cost, demand, and potential return on investment. There is no doubt that this leads to a focus on areas with higher population density or where the commercial viability is more favourable, and it also appears that areas already serviced by fibre broadband are getting the latest upgrades ahead of areas that are still struggling with slow and outdated ADSL connectivity.

What is clear is that care homes that can only access ADSL broadband are at a major disadvantage when it comes to introducing digital systems. Electronic healthcare records and medication management are now considered an essential requirement to running a care home. In addition, the ability to offer broadband connectivity to residents is a major factor when families are choosing a care home for their relatives. Homes that cannot provide these services face being left behind or even closure if they are unable to provide these services.

At Fusion, we strongly believe that all care homes should be prioritised for fast and reliable broadband connectivity. While we understand the geographical challenges that broadband providers face, these companies have received a large amount of Government funding to upgrade the broadband infrastructure in all areas. Therefore, we would like to hear from any UK care home that is struggling to access reliable and fast broadband. Let us know by completing this short survey.

Survey: Inadequate Internet Access in Care Homes (office.com)

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