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Is chasing ever decreasing pricing the best thing for business broadband
Tuesday 05 February 2008 12:19:46 by Andrew Ferguson

Business broadband has always been seen as more expensive than consumer packages, but there are plenty of commodity providers willing to label their consumer deals as business broadband and sell them claiming that they are ideal for the SME sector. In light of this it is perhaps with no great surprise that highlights some Point Topic research which suggests that price is often a primary concern with companies buying broadband subscriptions.

The Point Topic survey lists 40% of those who were most likely to change provider cited price as the most important reason, followed by quality of service at 19%. Just 13% cited customer service as their top priority.

With an ever increasing reliance on broadband connectivity for day-to-day business tasks such as tax returns, ordering supplies and communicating with customers, both small and large businesses need to consider carefully any new broadband deal,  particularly if the primary driver is price. All too often a low price in the consumer sector has meant high levels of demand leading to congested networks, or even products designed to run far slower than expected at all reasonable hours.

Businesses evaluating their broadband options should consider:

  • What is the impact on my business if my broadband fails?
  • How will I mitigate the risk of broadband failing? Can I access e-mail from home?
  • What happens to my e-mail address if I change service providers?
  • Does my provider provider 24/7 support so if I forget my password they can reset it?
  • Does my provider offer enhanced support options to reduce the fix time?

The sorts of things businesses need to be considering when ordering broadband are what the backup options if my landline broadband fails? Can I access the email from anywhere? What happens to my email address if I move providers? Is support available 24/7 so that when it fails at 7pm on a Friday you can get the ball rolling on fixing things? Are enhanced support options available, to get a broken line fixed quickly?


Posted by brett7 over 9 years ago
Some of the points listed really shouldn't be left in the hands of any broadband supplier, if you are doing things right... (A proper business setup should ensure access to email from anywhere without being reliant on comparitively unreliable broadband suppliers, separating the email/domain from the broadband supplier, password resets are trivial and should be an automated feature, etc)
Posted by plesbit over 9 years ago
Erm, I think the article requires a bit of copy editing.

Points are all valid, of course. If email / internet access is critical to your business and losing it would have serious consequences then anyone who puts all their faith in a single £15 a month domestic connection is a mug. The attitude should be not be "how little can I pay" but what would it cost me if it broke and what can I do about that.
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
Unicom sold my friend a business connection. The reality was it appears they are a tiscali reseller and he got a residental ipstream on a throttled to death tiscali connection. So his business adsl was worse than many residental adsl services.
Posted by c_j_ over 9 years ago
Do the new improved BTwholesale services under Valid points already raised about never mind the cost, what about the impact if it fails (you still have to laff at the ebay wideboys who moan about their free broadband being broken and it costing them £hundreds a day)

Does 21CN still offer two classes of service? (Iirc BTwholesale stopped calling IPstream "business" and "residential" some time ago).

A "business" service from Tiscali is probably a worse bet than a "residential" service from one of the few remaining decent ISPs.
Posted by c_j_ over 9 years ago
(did someone say copy editing? delete "Do the new ... under" and try again, c_j)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Lets be honest, if you need a connection for your business and you pay peanuts you are going to get peanuts. Sure there are some terrible providers around but if an internet connection of any type is critical for your business you should atleast have the sense to research providers and pay an applicable amount for an applicable service. Paying 2p or whatever the latest hair brained pricing scheme from some ISPs is for your business connection IMO makes you more stupid than the provider. The 40% that choose based on price obviously dont value their connection or their business very much.
Posted by tony150 over 9 years ago
For my home based software business I use different ADSL providers on two phone lines. BT based Newnet (8192Kbps sync) and LLU Sky(10500Kbps sync). I regularly test line throughput and both providers throughput betters 80 of line sync rate. So far I have had 100% uptime. For email I use Gradwell who host at Telehouse for a professonal service, with webmail available from anywhere.
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