Water flows faster than broadband
Bad weather has meant many colleagues in other parts of the
country have again been on the verge of disaster.
Trying to survive against the economy is one thing, but against
the elements is another.
When disaster occurs, one major thing businesses seek is robust
support from their insurer.
But the FSB is concerned that many in high-risk flood areas
cannot get adequate insurance cover.
Further investment in flood defences would make it easier for
businesses and householders to get insurance, protecting them
against the cost of repair.
The FSB is urging the government to do more to protect small
firms in high flood risk areas.
It should work closely with the Environment Agency on flood
defences and in the immediate term it should reach a resolution
with the insurance industry.
The Association of British Insurers and the government need to
come to a swift decision on universal cover which ends in June
An FSB member in York has been flooded around 18 times in 2012
and is having to pay out around £10,000 each time to repair the
damage. This is devastating.
It is unacceptable that small firms are paying out tens of
thousands of pounds because they can’t get adequate insurance
protection from their insurers.
Nor is it acceptable that flood defences aren’t robust enough to
withstand the rain.
The money these firms are paying out could be used to grow their
business or take on more staff.
Instead they have to pay themselves to repair the damage. This
can’t carry on.
I have been banging the drum again on broadband, at the Economic
Board and through that to the Local Enterprise Partnership.
We are slow at delivering a solution – slower than ditch water
if the elemental analogy fits with the comments above.
At worst, broadband is an insurance against the inability to get
out and about – it certainly proved so with the snow last year.
When I get letters on the one hand from a member in a mid-Kent
location telling me his business estate has little broadband
capacity and then we hear the government will invest in 12 cities
with super fast broadband, I wonder who is thinking it through.
Of course any improvement is great but if one end of the pipe
has fast running broadband and the other does not, we are limited
to the slowest common denominator.
Far better that we invest across the whole in a faster solution
and work our way upwards.