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Speed and reliability are the top Internet priorities for small businesses, according to a new SMB communications survey conducted by Windstream. The two attributes scored almost identically, with 36% prioritizing speed and 35% favoring reliability.

Faster upload speeds were the third most important priority, with 26% of respondents selecting it.

The survey found that 25% say that cybersecurity is an Internet priority and 24% see that customer experience and employee productivity depend on fast and reliable Internet service.

Top Internet “pain points” were Wi-Fi dead spots (28%), poor upload/download speeds (25%) and outages (24%).

Voice Priorities

On the voice side, too many spam calls is the top voice technology pain point for 45% of small businesses, while 34% say that simpler customer communications is the top priority for their phone systems, according to a small business survey conducted by Windstream.

The two other top priorities are reliable internal communications (32%) and reliable external communications (27%). The two other top pain points are poor provider support and “phone outages” (both at 25%).

“Small business owners require technology that helps them achieve their growth objectives without adding complexity,” Kinetic Business Product Director Randy Ford said in a prepared statement about the SMB communications survey.

“For instance, creating a personalized and engaging customer experience is crucial to drive repeat business and differentiate from competitors. Therefore, having reliable and high-quality internet and phone solutions is critical for every customer, employee, and vendor interaction, which ultimately impacts the daily operations’ success.”

The survey presented the views of 251 respondents across 11 industries in the company’s 18-state footprint.

Windstream, which uses the “Kinetic” brand name, is reuniting with a real estate investment trust (REIT) into which it spun off network assets nine years ago. The REIT, which is known as Uniti Group, and Windstream will focus on tier 2 and 3 markets. The companies aim to reach 1.9 million locations with fiber broadband by 2027.

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