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Business broadband needs cover

Understanding your business’ broadband needs

Disclaimer: The information on this page was correct as of August 3, 2021.

Having a reliable broadband connection is an absolute must for any modern business. According to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, 83% of businesses identify communication and broadband services to be critical to their business so it’s important to understand your business’ broadband needs to find the best and most reliable provider for you.

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What’s the difference between home and business broadband?

While home and business broadband are very similar, business broadband comes with a lot of extra features that make it more suited to businesses.

Business broadband traffic is generally prioritised over home broadband customers. This is an extremely important factor for businesses as it means that the number of properties sharing a line doesn’t make as much of a difference. Studies show that, on average, it can cost a business over £900 per hour when broadband goes down during working hours so prioritising businesses over homes will help avoid disruptions. Because most providers offer service guarantees to businesses, there is more of an incentive for them to make sure these customers get their expected speeds than for residential customers.

Business broadband can come with a static IP address, which keeps your IP address the same across all devices on the network and is great for hosting your own server, website, or domain name server and remotely connecting to computers. Some business broadband deals come with this as standard, however, you can also pay to add one.

Should I get business broadband if I work from home?

If you’ve just started working from home, you might be debating switching to business broadband rather than home broadband. With faster speeds, extra support, and high reliability, it can be very appealing. However, these come with an added cost that residential broadband doesn’t have. So, if you’re working from home temporarily or for short periods of time, you’ll have to weigh up whether these costs are worth it.

If your business is run primarily from your home, it’s a good idea for you to look into business broadband. Broadband for businesses often come with extra support and service guarantees as it’s more disruptive if anything goes wrong with your broadband. There are a number of things this could include, such as a 24/7 support line, a specific tech contact, or setting parameters about how quickly faults will be resolved and the compensation available if they’re not met. Some providers also offer cybersecurity protection, security software, and backup and recovery systems.

The cost differences between business and residential broadband tariffs

Because business broadband comes with more features, it also comes with an added cost. Below, we’ve compared some business broadband deals with their equivalent residential deal to help you decide whether business broadband is worth it or not.

Sky BT Vodafone
Home broadband price

£33

£32.99

£25

Comes with…
  • Speed guarantee
  • Pay as you go landline
  • Pay as you go landline
  • Speed guarantee
  • Pay as you go landline
  • Intelligent wifi
Business broadband price

£55

£44.95

£35

Comes with…
  • Always connected guarantee
  • Unlimited mobile and landline calls
  • Unlimited data
  • Professional installation
  • Phishing and malware protection
  • 24 voice call features
  • Digital phone line
  • Always Connected guarantee
  • Static IP address
  • Enhanced IT support
  • Expert set-up
  • Intelligent wifi
  • Speed guarantee
  • Automatic 4G backup
  • Dedicated WiFi experts
  • Premium anti-virus

What to consider when comparing business broadband deals

When comparing business broadband, it’s important that you know your broadband needs inside and out to make sure to get the best deal for you.

You should consider:

  • Business size and growth – If you’re a growing business, you’ll want to make sure that your broadband package will be able to keep up. Try and choose a scalable package that can handle an increase in users, new processes, or technological upgrades.
  • What you use broadband for – How you use the internet has a massive impact on which broadband deal you should choose. For example, if your business only uses your broadband for emails and taking card payments, you’ll probably need a different type of broadband than a business using its broadband on a range of different software and programs.
  • The speeds you need – This depends on a number of different factors: how many people will be online at a time, how they’re using it, how quickly you need to respond to online processes, and more. Business broadband tends to be faster than residential broadband.
  • How many people are online – This affects your actual broadband speed and you may not see the speeds that are advertised by your provider if there are too many people online at once. If your broadband goes down or slow, it will affect all of these people, slowing down your whole business.
  • What support you need – Business broadband packages come with a lot of extra features, with different providers offering different support. If your business doesn’t have an in-house tech team, you might need the extra tech support and security features on offer.
  • Your budget – While the price shouldn’t be your top priority when comparing business broadband deals, it’s still one of the most important things to consider. Make sure you’ve compared the prices against what you’re getting for your money before you opt for the cheapest option.

What types of business broadband are available?

There are a number of different types of broadband packages available for your business to choose from. Which is best for you is dependent on the type and needs of your business.

ADSL

ADSL uses the copper phone line cables through the telephone exchange and cabinet to bring the internet to your premises. Because of this, it’s one of the slowest broadband types available to businesses.

While the average ADSL runs at about 10-11Mbps, the speeds available vary considerably as it’s dependent on how close you are to the telephone exchange. The further you are from the exchange, the slower your broadband will be as the speed is lost running through the copper cables.

ADSL is good if your business:

  • Has low broadband usage
  • Doesn’t rely heavily on the internet
  • Doesn’t have fibre available
  • Is close to the telephone exchange

Business fibre broadband

Fibre broadband is the most common form of broadband connectivity for both homes and businesses. Fibre broadband uses two different types of wires to connect you to the internet. From the telephone exchange to the cabinet, it uses a fibre optic connection and then copper cables the rest of the way. Unfortunately, this does mean that the speeds are lost again through the copper cables if you’re too far from the cabinet.

Business fibre broadband is a safe choice for most businesses as it’s available to over 95% of the UK with a huge range of options when it comes to different speeds, providers, and packages.

Business Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)

Fibre to the Premises is another type of business fibre broadband, also known as ‘Full Fibre’. Instead of using the copper cables for the last leg to reach your building, FTTP uses fibre cables the whole way through. This means that no speeds are lost through the copper cables, allowing for speeds of over 300Mbps, however, the fibre cables are still shared almost the whole journey.

Unfortunately, FTTP is only available in a few locations from certain providers at the moment, but it’s set to be introduced further across the country in the near future. Some work will need to be undertaken by an engineer to install your business’ Fibre to the Premises, including digging a trench outside to the closest fibre line.

FTTP is a good choice if your business:

  • Is in an area where it’s available
  • Has heavy broadband usage
  • Needs fast internet speeds

Leased line

Leased line is the fastest, most reliable broadband connection currently available to businesses. It works similarly to FTTP, however, leased lines aren’t shared by multiple premises and avoid telephone exchanges and cabinets. This means that your broadband speed won’t be affected at peak times and you’ll have full control of your speeds.

Leased line broadband can bring hyperfast synchronous speeds of up to 10Gbps. This means that both your upload and download speeds have the ability to reach 10Gbps, depending on how many people are online, what they’re doing, and other external factors.

It’s worth bearing in mind that leased lines can come with much higher costs per month, depending on how much bandwidth you need and where you’re located. A standard 100Mbps line can cost around £250-350 per month, but you’ll receive a much more reliable connection and speed, as well as futureproofing your business.

Leased line broadband is good if your business:

  • Has heavy broadband usage
  • Has a huge reliance on broadband connectivity
  • Undertakes multiple data-heavy tasks
  • Doesn’t have fibre available

Find the right broadband for your business

While every business will vary, here are a few basic suggestions to help choose the right broadband package for different business spaces.

Business type Ideal broadband package
Work from home Superfast fibre
High street business ADSL
Cafe/restaurant Superfast fibre with WiFi
Small office (up to 49 employees) Ultrafast fibre
Large office Leased line

Do I need a static IP address?

Most businesses can run perfectly well with a dynamic IP address rather than a static IP address. The type of IP address doesn’t affect basic internet services such as email, streaming, video calling, and downloading, however, there are a few instances you might need a static IP address.

You’ll need a static IP address for:

  • Running a private web or email server that requires users to connect from the network
  • Using devices that can only connect through a certain IP address
  • Using remote networking services to connect to computers off-site

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This page was written by...

Polly Tyler

I've loved writing since I was a child and have worked on a number of different projects since I left school, including journalism, copywriting, and marketing. Utilty Switchboard has given me the opportunity to grow my knowledge and experience and I've loved every minute!

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