Connectivity is the most important factor for Birmingham’s business leaders

Wiredscore, Birmingham | Katie Jane Walker on October 02, 2018

New research released by WiredScore, to mark its Birmingham launch, has shown that despite being of greatest importance to business leaders when choosing office space, companies in Birmingham continue to be burdened with poor connectivity.

In line with WiredScore’s official launch into the Birmingham office market, new research  shows that the optimum concern for business leaders in Birmingham is the quality of their internet connection: 97% of business leaders stressed the significance of connectivity when selecting office space, which was considered as more essential than traditional factors such as price (94%) and location, (92%) as well as more current concerns such as environmental friendliness (76%).

Moreover, 88% of business leaders attest that internet connectivity should be provided as a priority and maintained by the landlord of their office buildings. This highlights the importance of landlords ensuring digital infrastructure is in place for businesses to thrive.

Despite the significance of connectivity to Birmingham’s business leaders, companies in the city continue to be impacted by poor connectivity: nearly two-thirds of businesses (61%) encounter problems at least once a month, while 42% experience problems at least once a week, which has a profound impact on their ability to do business.

The business impact of internet outages identified by Birmingham decision makers include:

  • Decrease in productivity (60%)
  • Tension and stress in the office (52%)
  • Inability to communicate with clients and customers (46%)
  • Impact on revenue (43%) and sales (41%)

WiredScore launches in Birmingham with forward-thinking landlords committing over 3 million sq ft of Birmingham office space to Wired Certification.These include: Ardstone, Ashby Capital, Ballymore, BlackRock, Calthorpe Estates, CEG, Hermes, Hines, LaSalle, LCR, Legal & General, M&G, Oval Real Estate, Paloma Capital, Rockspring Property Investment Management, and Sterling Property Ventures.

William Newton, President and EMEA MD at WiredScore commented: “We have certainly seen, and continue to see, a shift towards the obligation being placed on landlords to provide strong connectivity in their buildings. In order to remain competitive business leaders need the guarantee that their office space has the ability to meet their technological requirements with the right infrastructure in place. There is a tangible global demand for this service.

“Birmingham represents the next natural step for us in our UK expansion, as England’s second city it is a significant market for the national economy. This has become even more apparent given the demand from decision makers for connectivity in the city. The momentum of Wired Certification continues, and we are excited to be expanding our reach and client network.”

Neil Rami, chief executive at the West Midlands Growth Company, commented:

“Digital connectivity is increasingly becoming an integral decision making factor for businesses looking to expand or relocate in the region. The West Midlands becoming the UK’s first 5G test bed will ensure the region is responding to this demand and offering the optimum environment for businesses looking to grow and innovate. Welcoming WiredScore to the region demonstrates to businesses our commitment to remaining forward-thinking with a competitive offer.”

With its large talent pool and strong business networks, Birmingham is viewed as an attractive location for business and this is further underpinned by strong transport links which will only improve with the arrival of HS2 in 2026.

However, according to WiredScore’s research there is demand for increased investment into building provisions such as improved internet connection and mobile network coverage. The importance of connectivity is further highlighted by the recent announcement selecting the West Midlands as the UK’s first multi-city 5G test bed, making the region the first in the UK ready to trial new 5G applications and services at scale.

Following the global success of the company, there is now over 460 million sq ft of office space already committed to Wired Certification. WiredScore now works with more than 450 forward-thinking landlords and developers globally including: BlackRock, Derwent, British Land, and Hines. Over 1,600 buildings are now committed to certification and 4 million people currently work in Wired Certified buildings across North America and Europe.

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