Current State of Business Broadband in the UK

Rinky Dink Inc

The speed of internet connectivity is very critical to the success of many businesses in the current age we are living. Many companies will, therefore, treasure an internet service provider who is ready to meet their internet needs. More organisations are currently taking the advantage of cloud technology to conduct businesses and therefore require fast and reliable internet connection

An efficient business broadband is, therefore, a necessity for most businesses. This allows businesses to reach out to a larger global market at the comfort of their premises. People need to exchange large audio clips, do Skype meetings, video conferencing and share business materials such as banners things not possible with the traditional Internet technology.

Internet Connection

In order to align to the right internet requirements for your business, there is need to know the available internet options. You also need to understand the different terms

1) Bandwidth - this is the rate of transferring data and is given as bits per second, for both the downloads and the uploads of data. This is the maximum quantity of information that can be handled by the connection when the conditions are ideal.

2) Downloads and Uploads - The speeds for uploading and downloading data are not the same no matter the speeds. The speeds for downloading are usually higher than the speeds of uploading. For example for a 10 Mbps connection, the download speeds may go up to 10 Mbps, but for uploading of data, the speeds may only go up to 1 Mbps.

3) Internet connections - there are different internet connections. They include DSL, fibre optic and Cable.

a) DSL is a short form for Digital Subscriber Line. This technology uses a twisted pair line connection similar to that of the phone networks. For you to have connection, you must be within 3 miles of the DSLAM.DSLAM stands for Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer. They support up to 4 mbps of data download and less than 1 Mbps of data upload. The speed of the internet reduces as you move away you are from DSLAM.

b) Cable - after the cable TV came into the market, the coaxial cable connections also came into place. It has the capacity for multiple users to share the connection. It also allows speeds of up to 100 Mbps for downloading data whereas 5 Mbps for data uploading. It doesn't change with distance, and it is a worthy consideration for your business.

c) Fiber Optic - the fibre optic is slowly expanding its reach into the business world. It uses photon technology in transferring data from one point to the other. These photons have the capacity to travel at the speed of light. Depending on the service plan you can get over 100 Mbps of downloading data. Although the cost of connection may be higher for smaller businesses, it is more cost effective for large businesses to get fibre connections.

Current Challenges

The current business environment demands for the exchange of emails, sharing of files, audio and video calling and sharing of your information on the cloud forums. Most companies, therefore, find themselves in a situation where they have to increase their bandwidth and uptime. Their current connectivity however limits them in meeting these demands. Some of the current challenges include:

a) Performance - The current speeds of 1.544 Mbps for the T1 lines is way below the capacity required to handle audio, video and data requirements of the modern age.

b) Reliability - For most providers such as DSL, the bandwidth and internet speeds are very unpredictable. As much as you are promised higher bandwidths and faster speeds, the many customers accessing this service makes it hard for these providers to live to this promise. Microwave solutions, for instance, can be affected by factors such as line of sight and atmospheric conditions and hence degrades as the distance increases.

c) Maintenance - apart from being affected by the atmospheric conditions, microwave solutions are also expensive to acquire. This is also true especially when it comes to maintenance costs.

d) Scalability - Sometime in a bit to address the bandwidth issues, businesses go for multiple lines. This, however, leads to increased costs and time for the businesses. Therefore doubling of the T1 lines just leads to doubling of the internet access costs.

Need for a Dedicated Business Broadband Package

A steadfast business broadband will be of more benefit to your business as compared a home broadband. Just the same way you need a concrete business plan, a dedicated staff to implement this plan, and capital to run your business, you also need a reliable broadband service for your business.

Virgin media business and BT Business are some of the major broadband service providers in the U.K. We will, therefore, be comparing some of the business broadband deals offered by these providers so as to enable you as a business person make a decision on what suits your business.

Business Broadband Package

First, we will explore what you will get when you go for a business broadband package.

a) Guarantee - the business broadband providers gives you the assurance to get back your connection speeds as soon as possible so as to minimise the inconvenience that customers may go through. This will happen as soon as the next working day, and hence any disruption will be short lived. This may not be possible with other home based broadband. In the case that the connection is not restored within the contract period the service providers guarantee to compensate you for that.

b) Customer support - the customer support is business specific and much better incase your connection goes down. This ensures you minimise the risk of loosing revenue or even disappointing your clients. The support offered is 24 hours a day and the support staff prioritise business broadband calls over other calls. You are therefore guaranteed a faster response to your connection issues whenever they arise.

c) Prioritisation - the business broadband traffic is prioritised over residential broadband. This is the case for BT business as well as TalkTalk. This, therefore, means your speeds and connectivity will not be affected by the number of other users at that given time. A neighbour on residential broadband downloading lots of video, therefore, won't affect your business. Your speeds are also guaranteed even at peak times when most people are using the internet. This ensures your business runs as smooth as possible.

d) Security - the broadband comes with a higher security grade to protect your business. This is to ensure your business network is not compromised.

e) Business-friendly router - a small business router will connect between 10 to 12 computers without any problem. For large businesses, routers that cover an area of between 1500 square feet and 2000 square feet are more appropriate. This makes it possible to cover businesses that run across multiple storeys. They also come with a higher level of security which includes a VPN server, firewall and filters.

f) Static IP - Residential broadband comes with a dynamic IP address means every time you connect to the internet the IP address will change. The business broadband comes with a static IP. This is important because businesses need to host their own servers. This enables them to receive huge files and also ensures secure connections by clients to the server.

Business Broadband Providers

Some UK based providers are offering clear priced, excellent business packages which are customised to meet the needs of the businesses. Some of these providers like BT business and TalkTalk are offering up to 76 Mbps of internet speeds. Other players include Plusnet business, XLN Telecom, Virgin Media and Toople. Virgin media, for instance, offers up to 152 Mbps Internet speeds for their top business brands. Plusnet, on the other hand, offers very magnificent customer support. We look at each of these companies in detailed.

1) BT Business Broadband - BT Business has a standard business package which offers very fast connections of 17 Mbps and very reliable service and you are guaranteed that your business won't be let down. They have Broadband products ranging from small to medium sized businesses and also those that have light usage needs to heavy usage firms that may need to go for packages that allow unlimited downloads. BT business fibre broadband will get you an even faster internet speed of up to 76 Mbps. You can also choose to include mobile broadband to your package. This also comes with free Wi-Fi minutes on selected internet deals. You get a minimum of 10 GB of usage allowance on top of being given 10 e-mail addresses.

2) Virgin Media broadband - Because of its highly advanced fiber-optic technology, Virgin Media offers fast, efficient and reliable speeds that are not slowed down by the distance your business is from the router. Its splendid fast cable service gives your business speeds of up to 152 Mbps. They also have excellent customer service with their UK-based team on standby for 24/7 on phone. You get unlimited downloads, calls, wireless router and business grade SLA on their best packages.

3) Plusnet broadband - Plusnet is a subsidiary of BT business and has long been known among many web users because of its competent customer-focused approach. The clients can benefit from a well-informed and friendly UK-based team that is always on call 24/7. Their target is to respond to your phone request in 30 seconds and your email queries in 4 hours. The effectiveness of handling clients queries is borne from the fact that hey are able to solve 75 percent of the problems in the first instance. You can expect connections of up to 76 Mbps. On top of that you get a 4-port wireless router, 25 GB usage allocation per month and free calls on its selected packages.

4) TalkTalk broadband - Its Business broadband offer internet speeds of up to 76 Mbps and also prioritises business traffic over residential packages. It is one of the fastest internet connection firms available to UK businesses. Businesses also benefit from their many years of experience and steady prices. They are also flexible to tailor a phone line for your business and a broadband deal to meet your customer needs. You can also request an extra service at an extra charge. Their customer service is excellent, with their dedicated UK-based team available on call between 9 am and 5 pm. TalkTalk's highlight in customer experience was shown when they were given the Cisco Customer Service Award because of its great standards of customer service.

5) XLN Telecom - They not only specialise in broadband packages but also landline packages that are tailored to meet the needs of small-sized to medium-sized enterprises. Their prices are very competitive when compared with their rival providers. It offers internet speeds of up to 76 Mbps on its highly rated fibre broadband service. Its cheapest package allows you to get a connection internet speed of up to 17 Mbps. Its business packages include the excellent customer support. Their selected bundles comes with the Secure security software which also has an antivirus, anti-spam features, anti-spyware and abuse control features. It won the 2016 Customer Experience Awards for the UK. It was also given the CV Magazine Achievement Award of 2016 for being the Best SME Telecommunications Specialist in the UK.

Choosing a Business Broadband Package

When choosing a business broadband, the following are the features you should consider.

a) e-mail addresses and web hosting: Most packages will specify the number of email addresses you get. In most cases, it is ten email addresses. You need to be looking out for the antivirus and the anti-spam filters.

b) Site creation: Some suites like EasySiteWizard will assist you to set up your website in the most efficient way.

c) Business Voice: You need to receive a VoIP business line as part of your package when you get the business package for both the incoming and the outgoing calls.

d) Extranet: This is critical in providing your employees with a one-stop shop for sharing information. The advantage with this package is that it allows backing up your data on a daily basis and is also password-protected.

e) PC Security: This protection suite will safeguard your PC from external attacks such as hackers and viruses whenever you are online. You are also protected from infected external medias such as flash drives whenever you are offline.

Changing Nature of Business

There has been a continuous growth of social media, cloud computing and collaboration tools without forgetting the ever-increasing amount of digital information that is sent and received over the Internet. Businesses, therefore, need an efficient Internet connectivity that guarantees the speed and reliability required for the current times, while at the same time maintaining the costs under control.

No matter the type of business, enterprises need a stable, fast and secure internet connectivity in order to stay current and competitive. Some industries have demanding business requirements and hence cannot afford anything less than a better Internet connectivity. Some of these industries include

a) Manufacturing – Most customers at the moment expect instant processing of their manufacturing orders. They also need a prompt response to their inquiries, and this can only happen when there is reliable connectivity. Electronic communications is a common thing nowadays. The exchange of large files is also common within the manufacturing industry between the suppliers and contractors, and hence efficient internet connectivity is very crucial.

b) Retail sector – internet connectivity is required from the inventory management all the way to point-of-sale. From time-keeping systems to the online storefronts the internet is a requirement. The retail operations, therefore, depend heavily upon reliable Internet

connectivity to be able to serve their customers effectively.

c) Finance – The financial organisations do often require internet connectivity to meet their regulatory requirements in each of their branches. When the internet connectivity fails, the processing of the financial transactions may not take place.

d) Healthcare – The electronic records system in medication is critical and requires efficient Internet to ensure secure patient portals, insurance clearance, e-prescribing and secure payment are done. When the Internet goes down, the medical providers and hospital staff have to use to manual way of processing these services, and this takes lots of time per paper transactions affecting the overall productivity.

e) Government – the government agencies also need internet to exchange large files, provide the staff and the public with access to public records. These may range from real estate records to court transcription records. It may also include facilitation of efficient communication between the state and the federal agencies. For all this to be achieved, stable internet connectivity is a must.

f) Education – online libraries are critical tools for scholars and students and other researchers in general. There is, therefore, need for stable Internet to these sources for students to access internet-based multimedia, learning through video tutorials and communication between faculty and schools.

Conclusion

Choosing the right internet options for your business is key to the success of the same. The internet provides an amazing place where information can be shared seamlessly and hence the internet speed is critical, and it is what really drives your businesses to the next level. Not only are faster downloads critical but also faster uploads of these files. You need to share quotations, receipts, invoices and even media with your employees and clients to remain efficient and also enhance your customer satisfaction and experience.

The speed of internet connectivity is very critical to the success of many businesses in the current age we are living. Many companies will, therefore, treasure an internet service provider who is ready to meet their internet needs. More organisations are currently taking the advantage of cloud technology to conduct businesses and therefore require fast and reliable internet connection

An efficient business broadband is, therefore, a necessity for most businesses. This allows businesses to reach out to a larger global market at the comfort of their premises. People need to exchange large audio clips, do skype meetings, video conferencing and share business materials such as banners things not possible with the traditional Internet technology.

A steadfast business broadband will be of more benefit to your business as compared a home broadband. Just the same way you need a concrete business plan, a dedicated staff to implement this plan, and capital to run your business, you also need a reliable broadband service for your business.

Virgin media business and BT Business are some of the major broadband service providers in the U.K. We will, therefore, be comparing some of the business broadband deals offered by these providers so as to enable you as a business person make a decision on what suits your business.

This is the reason you and your business need an efficient internet partner who is able to deliver the performance and reliability required for your business without forgetting adding value to your business.

When choosing a business broadband, the following are the features you should consider.

a) e-mail addresses and web hosting: Most packages will specify the number of email addresses you get. In most cases, it is ten email addresses. You need to be looking out for the antivirus and the anti-spam filters.

b) Site creation: Some suites like EasySiteWizard will assist you to set up your website in the most efficient way.

c) Business Voice: You need to receive a VoIP business line as part of your package when you get the business package for both the incoming and the outgoing calls.

d) Extranet: This is critical in providing your employees with one-stop shop for sharing information. The advantage with this package is that it allows backing up your data on a daily basis and is also password-protected.

e) PC Security: This protection suite will safeguard your PC from external attacks such as hackers and viruses whenever you are online. You are also protected from infected external medias such as flash drives whenever you are offline.

Since you now know the basics that you require to get the most reliable internet for your business, here are a few things you must take into consideration

a) You need to talk to an expert who have been able to handle broadband issues across several businesses.

b) Next you need to align your business goals to your internet speeds. Need to also talk to an expert on this matter

c) Finally partner with these experts so that you have a pool of expert to advise you at all time



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