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Entrepreneur advocates investment for superfast broadband, not HS2

Many freelance clients of Richmond accounting firms are likely to have amassed, through considerable experience, much knowledge of what practices can financially help and hinder their work. Hence, they are likely to be opinionated about the recent claims of Scott Fletcher, an entrepreneur and the founder of award-winning cloud expert ANS Group, that the government should invest in high-speed broadband rather than the intended high-speed railway commonly known as HS2.

Mr Fletcher suggested in an article recently published on the website of Freelance UK that the move would bring greater financial benefit to the country than spending in excess of £46billion on the High Speed 2 railway. HeeHeHe proposed that UK businesses should be equipped with two forms of broadband, fibre-to-the-premises or FTTP and fibre-to-the-home or FTTH.

The entrepreneur argued that FTTP would be more useful to businesses in the short term, while FTTH would be similarly helpful to businesses over a longer period of time, given the increase that it would bring in the rate of development of new technology. This was because, he elaborated, common business practices in the UK are rapidly changing and will continue to rapidly change, leaving as the only certain prediction that fast data speeds will be crucial as the UK corporate world becomes increasingly digital.

The ANS Group founder’s suggestions are likely to provoke intriguing responses from freelance clients of Richmond accounting firms, and we reckon that the suggestions do have some merit. It is worth pointing out, for example, that though the government has claimed that HS2 would result in £12.6billion of economic benefits simply due to the reduced time spent on business travel, the National Audit Office has taken issue with this figure. The NAO claims that the figure has been reached due to “a simplifying assumption that that time spent travelling is unproductive.” This therefore suggests that corporate productivity could be boosted more cost-effectively through the provision of speedier broadband and a greater number of carriages on existing inter-city trains.

The Internet has done much to revolutionise corporate practices and, it seems, will continue to do so for a long time to come. For example, digital conferencing and mobile computing devices are likely to be used more and more often by businesses in future. This means that over time, face-to-face business meetings will likely become less necessary and therefore, so will very fast trains. We reckon that many UK businesses, including Richmond accounting firms and the freelance businesses that rely on them, will agree with such sentiments.