In 2017, there were around 5.7 million SMEs (under 249 employees). This accounts for over 99% of all businesses in the UK. Of these, around 5.4 million were micro-businesses (less than 10 employees).
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.
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).
Your business contract may come with a service level agreement ('SLA').
An SLA will define the terms of the service you are being provided, and outline information about support and resolution of problems. Providers offer packages with improved care levels at a premium price, and different packages may come with different products purchased.
SLAs may include such issues as:
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 will come into effect by mid-May 2018