How to choose a business broadband provider

by Carlo Soresina, Bulldog Communications

Carlo Soresina, sales & marketing director, business, Bulldog Communications

Broadband internet is a necessity for a 21st century business - whether it’s to support management of customer information or the delivery mechanism for products. Fewer and fewer businesses try to get by without high speed, reliable internet solutions.

Daisy Group plc is a commercial partner of Telecoms Advice, specialising in Business Broadband within the business to business telecoms sector.

Instead of opting for the cheapest solution on paper, and ending up paying out for unanticipated costs such as customer support, additional bandwidth or security, businesses that want to get and stay ahead need to consider a few key questions before signing on the dotted line.

Any business looking at its communications infrastructure needs to ask the following questions in their search for a simple “Office-in-a-Box” solution.

Top 10 questions to ask your business broadband provider

1)      Do I have to be tied into a contract for a year?

If you’re likely to relocate, you won’t want to be obligated to a year’s worth of payments.

2)      How much speed do I need?

How many computers will be sharing the connection? Don't economise on a "broadband" provider that is only slightly faster than dial-up and could throttle your productivity.

3)      Am I buying a consumer package?

Consumer broadband packages, while cheaper, have significant limitations - no dedicated business-level support, download limits, and so on. Buying a consumer package can limit the usefulness of a broadband connection.

4)      Do you provide the necessary hardware and support to get me connected?

Will I receive a free modem and adequate information to get my business on-line?

5)      Is the phone line included?

You may need to pay additional costs and a separate bill if not, as a phone line is required in order to install a broadband connection

6)      Is email / webspace included?

Some providers charge a premium for services like multiple email accounts and for website hosting facilities.

7)      What happens if my business increases in size and I need further services?

Check whether your provider will be capable of competitively supporting your business if it increases in size and you need extra phone lines or additional bandwidth.

8)      Does the provider have a heritage?

Better-known providers are more likely to be around in 6 months - start-up providers can vanish!

9)      Will I get business quality customer support?

Ensure that you are getting an appropriate response time to service for your business and check whether the support line is an 0800 free number or a 0870 national rate line. Bulldog has a dedicated business support offering to respond to the more rigorous demands of business customers.

What am I buying broadband for?

Different requirements have different needs: if you want to use advanced networking services, such as VPNs for remote working, ftp and web hosting, you should consider an SDSL line or even a leased line service; if you need a second voice line, or the capacity to add voice lines as needed, you may find a bundled service that meets your requirements.

Reviewed January 2011

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last updated : 05/07/2011

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