Selecting a business broadband deal rather than a standard domestic one is important when you are in business. Whether you are running a small independent business or a larger operation, reliability and speed are essential. With a business package, providers are aware of this and should offer specific extras as part of the deal. With your business broadband deal, you should expect to be given priority over domestic users for technical support. You should receive better upload speeds, a static IP address and web hosting, should you require it.
UK internet providers are well aware of the fierce competition out there and, as such, usually create deals with extras thrown in. It pays to shop around and don't be afraid to haggle a little to get that perfect deal. Super-fast internet is now the norm and BT aims to continue to be the dominant market player in this field with its infinity broadband deal. With its connection speed of up to 76mbps, it is only closely matched by TalkTalk's business broadband deal which offers the same.
Other than BT and TalkTalk, there are plenty of other strong candidates vying for the top position. These include PlusNet Business, known for its excellent customer service, XLN Telecom, bOnline, and Virgin Media Business, each of which is offering great deals to win your custom.
With any highly competitive market, prices can fluctuate, so make sure that you consider this when shopping around. If you know that one company is renowned for excellent hosting facilities and another for superb customer service, consider which is more important to you and your business as these will be essential in times of crisis. In choosing a business broadband deal, you should take into account the whole package, not just the speeds on offer.
Internet speeds can range from 10mbps to 100mbps and the one you choose depends on your level of usage. If you have multiple users or need constant usage, then you may wish to opt for the faster and more reliable fibre-optic technology, whereas if you tend to go online occasionally and only use the connection for a small number of people, then you may well be fine with one of the slower and cheaper options.
A basic ADSL line should be fine for a small business and is available everywhere, whereas fibre technology is much faster, but coverage is determined by whether or not it has been rolled out in your area.
BT caters for all business sizes and its basic package covers occasional internet usage which you might need for checking emails or website traffic, for example. For those companies who simply need to hop on and off, this is fine. Larger firms or those with a need for a constant, reliable and high-speed connection may opt to lease a line instead.
BT offers a four line rental voice service with differing levels of customer support to suit your needs. BT is still very much the leading player in the market and this means that it also leads in the hot spot market. Signing up with BT gives you access to over 5 million hot spots throughout the UK.
BT, it aims to deliver the best possible speed in the context of your particular connection, reflecting the available infrastructure. The business broadband deals show estimates of the download and upload speeds BT believes you should be getting, which it then offers with a 'minimum guaranteed download speed'.
Talk Talk's USP is its huge range of tailored and bespoke customer options, particularly for its business broadband deals. If you're looking at broadband, it offers anything from ADSL up to high-speed ethernet fibre technology with amazing speeds of up to 1gbps. The firm prides itself in tailoring packages to suit the needs, nature and size of your business.
Talk Talk's plans are clearly laid out so that you can see exactly what you're getting for your money. They also show you, quite handily, which options you should be considering given the size of your business, whether it be small - up to 19 employees, medium - between 20-250 employees and large - 250+ employees. TalkTalk Business offers a package for each.
Virgin Media Business
Virgin is currently heavily promoting its Voom Fibre packages and claims to have the UK's fastest major broadband with speeds of up to 500mbps. It offers two main business broadband deals, the first being basic internet with download speeds of up to 50Mb and the second being the higher speed option, giving download speeds of up to 350mbps, so impressive enough.
PlusNet Business Broadband
PlusNet emphasises 'great value and reliable packages' and heavily focuses upon its unlimited offerings, with 24/7 customer support and 'safeguard security'. It also offers a review at the end of your contract which ensures that you are getting the best deal for your internet usage. PlusNet offers a static IP address and new line installation as part of its business broadband deals.
PlusNet is well known for its excellent customer service, which it also offers for its business customers. It offers customer support 24/7, 365 days a year which is pretty impressive and will prove to be invaluable should you ever require emergency assistance.
PlusNet's business broadband customers are told to expect connection speeds of up to 76mbps with the firm's fibre broadband packages and these are available with the option of 12 or 24-month contracts.
XLN telecom concentrates heavily on its broadband packages and also offers phone deals for small businesses. The two key business broadband deals include the Basix and Max options, both of which run via ADSL lines. XLN prides itself on 24/7 customer service which, as with PlusNet, can be essential should you need help at any time of the day or night.
XLN gets good reviews online and is praised for its customer service in particular. XLN's current connection speeds can reach up to 76mbps via the higher-end fibre optic option, with the cheaper offering giving you a connection speed of up to 17mbps.
bOnline has tapped directly into the small business market and positions itself as offering an alternative to some of the larger players. In particular, it emphasises its easy to understand business broadband deals, offering a range of speeds from 24mbps, 40mbps or 80mbps aiming at small and medium-sized businesses in particular.
bOnline's main aim is to ensure that all business customers receive reliable and fast internet connections and it caters particularly for smaller businesses by offering a range of affordable options and short term non-tied contract options. It is positioned as a disruptive, no-frills provider, championing the needs of the smaller business.