Question: We’re looking to rent office space for the first time, but does a building always come with a broadband connection? Do I have to sort this out myself or do some places have everything set up already?
Answer: Unfortunately, while many serviced offices are learning that supplying a broadband connection is important, not all give you the option. Also, if you’re looking to rent office space, keep in mind some will have a monolithic shared connection. If you are down the corridor from an office that uses the connection a lot, your internet may feel as bad as trying to use free WiFi on an overcrowded train platform.
When serviced offices come with broadband, make sure you ask what the minimum guaranteed speed for each office is. In theory, a good management firm will offer tiers of access, so if an office needs a guaranteed minimum of 10Mbps, it will be an option.
Also, double check that the agreement allows you to add your own broadband at a later date if you need it. Some offices may restrict you as they see the internet connection as a revenue stream.
If you have to sort out your own broadband you need to ensure the building owners are willing to give permission for a broadband operator to install a dedicated connection. For standard broadband that arrives over a phone line (ADSL2+, Fibre to the Cabinet) this is pretty straight forward.
But once you enter the realm of full fibre connectivity (Fibre to the Premises, Ethernet and leased lines) things can be more complicated, as new fibre optic cabling may well be needed. One useful trick is to ask if any other businesses in the building have a dedicated leased line, as there will often be spare fibres/capacity.
If you are currently in the perfect building but broadband is the reason you are thinking of moving, ask around the offices and you might be able to convince the building owner to get better broadband installed, thus saving the hassle of moving.
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 (email@example.com) or join in on the action using #rbBroadband.
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