4) If your business broadband is bad, or the company has expanded to the point where the broadband is feeling the strain before you run out of car park spaces but the cost of full leased line options are prohibitive, consider combining your purchasing power to pay for a faster leased line that is shared between several businesses in the same set of buildings.
Alternatively, there are providers such as WarwickNet that will depending on your location consider bringing their service to a business park and offer everything from fairly standard connections to leased line services but without the full gold plated pricing. As an individual business you have little weight, but as a group of a dozen or more on a small business park you may find more options become available. A quick fix might be installing a second cheap broadband connection and off loading all the visitor and staff access to Wi-Fi on their mobiles to this second connection.
5) The continuing superfast broadband roll-outs may hold hope for some, but all too often the timescales don’t solve the immediate problem or organisations won’t give a firm yes or no as to whether a better service will appear. Making sure your local MP and local authority are aware of the bad connectivity situation you are suffering may help to ensure you are not overlooked, but no-one has committed to a nationwide100 per cent solution yet. If moving the business to an area with decent broadband is not feasible there are schemes running where communities and clusters of businesses can group together money to get something a lot better than they have now.
The largest of these is the BT Group Community Fibre scheme, though be under no illusions of the money involved, as generally to get a new fibre cabinet installed where one is not already planned usually means a group needs to come up with between £20,000-£30,000. Not all the community cabinets that are appearing are in rural areas, so if you are a city centre business with neighbours keen to improve things it is another option – though be aware time scales of 12 months seem fairly common.
The best advice for businesses is don’t suffer poor broadband in silence; make sure your landlord local business groups and local authority are fully aware of your circumstances. Landlords do have a part to play, and increasingly they are cottoning on to the fact businesses are moving to properties where there is good broadband so maybe some pressure on them to provide a collective solution is a way forward.
Andrew Ferguson is editor of thinkbroadband.com