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Broadband doctor: Sneaky tricks used in consumer market also apply to business sector

Do business sector broadband packages differ when it comes to provider or contract length? It's a question Andrew Ferguson set out to answer.
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Question: I know the price of broadband changes depending on what’s included in a package, but I wanted to know ahead of time – I’m looking to switch – if the cost of business sector broadband would change depending on contract length or provider?

Answer: The majority of broadband packages available to the small business sector are relatively simple. The complications in pricing tend to only arise once you start adding extra features such as priority fault resolution, web site hosting, cloud backup, VoIP and other services.

Generally, the longer the broadband contract the cheaper the service will be. However, given the pace of change in broadband technology, signing up for a two year contract on the cheapest ADSL service may prove to be a false economy, so check what upgrade paths are available before you make a decision.

For example, does the provider you’re looking at sell fibre to the cabinet services, or full fibre (fibre to the premises) that is set to become more widely available?

The same sneaky tricks that are employed for the consumer market apply to the small business sector as well, so you do need to sit down and do the maths. I advise you to calculate if it’s cheaper to buy the broadband hardware outright or spread it across the cost of the contract.

Generally speaking, if comparing quoted speeds from different potential providers that are based on the same technology, they will all turn out to have roughly the same connection speed.

However, where providers vary is when it comes to performance during peak times, so it is worth doing your research on online forums and social media to see what others are complaining about.

But more importantly, always find out whether people have seen a timely resolution for their various problems.

This article is part of our Real Business Broadband campaign, which seeks to provide a mouthpiece for business leaders to vocalise the broadband issues preventing their businesses from reaching full potential. We’d love to hear your take on the debate and where you think the UK needs to make drastic changes – and feel to ask us your broadband queries. Get in touch via email (shane.schutte@realbusiness.co.uk) or join in on the action using #rbBroadband.

Image: Shutterstock

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About Author

Andrew Ferguson

Andrew Ferguson is the editor of thinkbroadband.com, having joined the thinkbroadband.com team after its launch in April 2000. His main responsibilities include development of the speed test service, tracking progress of broadband projects across the UK, writing regular commentary on its developments and news about specific ISPs. Andrew also works with contacts to resolve problems visitors experience with their connections. The ultimate goal is to ensure all visitors get access to the correct information along with trusted help and advice.

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