Cisco’s latest Broadband Index report reveals that over 70 percent of respondents in UAE state that the reliability and quality of their broadband connection are crucial to economic and societal growth.
According to the global survey of almost 60,000 workers across 30 countries about their home broadband access, quality, and usage, economic and societal growth will not happen without universal access to fast and reliable internet.
Hybrid Work Depends on Quality Internet
The success of hybrid work hinges on the quality and availability of the internet. 3 in 4 respondents in the UAE state the reliability and quality of their broadband connection are important to them. Dependence on high-performance Internet access is further underlined by the fact that 63 percent of respondents actively use their domestic broadband service for seven hours or more each day. Meanwhile three or more people use the internet at the same time in 77 percent of households.
60 percent of respondents state they use a form of mobile technology to connect to the Internet at home; this includes using their mobile phones, or a 4G or 5G hub. Fibre-optic broadband is used by 16 percent.
“Networks and digital technologies are at the heart of the big economic and social transformations happening in our region. Demand for broadband connectivity has increased exponentially since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Reem Asaad, Vice President in the Middle East and Africa, Cisco. “With the rise in remote and hybrid working,businesses are required to enable the collaboration and effectiveness of all employees, regardless of location. We created the Broadband Index to understand how the pandemic has impacted the use of broadband and customers’ expectations around the globe, including the Middle East and Africa.”
Critical for Small and Medium Enterprises
More than half of the UAE workforce now relies on their home internet to work from home or run their own business. This is especially critical for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), that do not have the same resources and IT infrastructure of larger enterprises. A new digital business environment has emerged where ambitious entrepreneurs and start-ups can prosper, fostering innovation across industries. Broadband will therefore play a key role in the growth and evolution of this core segment.
Security Is Vital
In order to work-from-anywhere, employees need to connect to their company’s networks and applications from outside the office, accessing private data across multiple locations, through multiple devices, via public and private networks.
Workers are becoming increasingly aware that safety and security, as well as speed and reliability, will be vital to the success of hybrid working. Security is a key consideration for many workers as 64 percent responded they would pay more to ensure a safer broadband connection.
A Look to the Future
Access to fast and reliable internet is critical to future economic growth, according to 75 percent of respondents. 74 percent think everyone should be able to securely connect to fast and reliable internet, regardless of location.
A further 73 percent claim access to fast and reliable Internet services is vital for maintaining a well-educated population. This is a cornerstone of the UAE Government’s ambitious AI vision 2031 program, as well as Abu Dhabi Vision 2031. When asked about which critical service they would prioritise when using their broadband connection in the future, 24 percent highlighted education.