Service quality for businesses
At the start of 2021, there were around 5.5 million SMEs (under 249 employees). This accounts for 99% of all businesses in the UK.
SMEs are vital to the success of the UK economy, and communications services are of key importance for such businesses.
Compared to larger businesses, SMEs can face particular challenges when engaging with communications services, especially where they do not employ technical experts. They can struggle to understand some of the technology involved and to understand which products and services are best suited to their needs. Some are also unaware of the level of service quality that their provider offers.
Ofcom's primary duty is to further the interests of consumers and citizens in relation to communications matters; this includes business consumers, who are an important part of the UK communications market. Read our research exploring the SME consumer experience in the communications market.
Our service quality report takes into account the needs and experiences of SMEs. Read the chapter on the SME experience of service quality (PDF, 206.3 KB).
In November 2017, we put in place new rules (PDF, 169.0 KB) to protect the interests of SMEs by imposing transparency requirements (PDF, 1.6 MB) on providers in relation to the SLAs and compensation they offer. These rules came into effect in May 2018.