Ben Botes has a few reasons why broadband will (and does) benefit South African SMEs. While there is nothing new about this list, it is important to remind ourselves about the benefits of broadband to the SME market, you and me, when we consider the shenanigans that go on in the Department of Communications and with Telkom:
- Geographic location becomes less important so firms in small towns and remote areas where salaries, property and transportation costs are low can now compete.
- Infrastructure cost savings will equate to lower cost and lower prices for the end user.
- Start-up costs are lower and hence the risk of starting becomes much lower.
- Online training and elearning can be used to access high value low cost training and support for small business employees.
- As online products and services become more popular, SEO and online advertising becomes more important. Although the small firm will still not be able to compete with he big budget advertising of large firms, entrepreneurs with the right skills and experience can gain valuable exposure through online marketing.
- New employment opportunities will emerge resulting from new technology.
I really believe that broadband is so important in this connected world that it should eventually be regarded as a fundamental right.