As the internet has begun to play a much bigger role in our lives, words like ‘the cloud’, ‘bandwidth’, and ‘broadband’ are regularly bandied about but, according to recent research, half of us are still in the dark as to what they actually mean.

  • 1 in 5 people don’t know what WiFi is
  • A quarter of UK business managers are baffled by broadband

Telecoms and IT firm Daisy Group, conducted a piece of research to ascertain how ‘clued up’ the UK’s working population is about the subject of connectivity. Half confessed to not knowing what ‘the cloud’ (43%) and ‘fibre broadband’(44%) were, while a surprising one in five (20%) people did not even know what WiFi was.

Just a third of people (30%) knew that ADSL was ‘standard broadband’ and uses copper wiring to upload and download information over the internet, as opposed to fibre broadband which uses fibre optic cables and can download and upload data faster than ADSL. Three quarters of people had no idea that VoIP (Voice over internet protocol), was a type of phone system which uses the internet, rather than a standard phone line, to make calls.

The research was followed with a study conducted by Daisy among 1141 UK SME business owners and managers* and found that, whilst their understanding of connectivity was better, a quarter were not confident that they could explain what fibre broadband (29%) or the cloud (26%) were, and 92 per cent were mystified by data centres.

Kate O’Brien, Marketing Director at Daisy Group, said:

“Technology evolves on a day-by-day basis, and the benefits for business evolve alongside it. Whether it is efficiencies in business operations or the ability to make savings, technology is an enabler for any modern day organisation, no matter what their size. Like a utility, businesses can no longer operate without it.

“Our research highlighted that there is a gap in understanding the technologies that have been designed for business. In particular, we were shocked to find that 75% of people didn’t know what VoIP is, especially considering it is a billion pound industry which has been rocketing in popularity over the last five years, due to its ability to dramatically cut businesses’ phone bills.

“Those working in the fast-paced arena of IT and digital have a duty to cut through the jargon and educate UK businesses on what technology can mean for them. Otherwise businesses will continue to waste money and miss out on growth opportunities simply through ignorance about what is available.”

The lack of understanding could go somewhere to explaining the Government’s decision to rebrand its “Super Connected Cities” scheme to the more understandable ‘Superfast Britain’, a programme that offers businesses up to £3,000 to help them upgrade their broadband from copper to fibre optic cabling.

To help UK SMEs get to grips with modern technology, Daisy Group has launched a series of short videos called #TechinThree which aims to use jargon-free language to teach businesses the basics on a number of technical subjects, in just three minutes.