When we think about businesses in the UK, we tend to picture office spaces, corporate buildings, a water cooler in the corner, and so on. But things are changing, and home-based businesses are on the rise. In fact, there are more than 2.75 million home-based businesses in the UK today, creating 3.3 million jobs, and contributing around £94 billion to the country’s economy. These businesses are an essential aspect of the plan for continued economic growth, and yet they’re very much treated as second class citizens, especially when it comes to the business broadband options available for these businesses – or lack of.
The Rise of Home-Based Businesses
Home-based businesses haven’t popped up overnight. Their rise in the UK has been slow and steady, sparked largely by the introduction of social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter, along with selling platforms like Etsy and eBay. It has never been easier for an individual to market their products from home, or engage with their audience, regardless of where in the world they may be located.
Unfortunately, despite the economic importance of home-based businesses, they are certainly not given the priority and focus as office-based businesses in terms of business broadband options. Ofcom announced in December that a speed of 10Mbit/s should be the absolute minimum broadband speed available to residences, and yet 2.4 million properties in the UK are still unable to receive these speeds.
So what business broadband, or internet connectivity options are available to home-based businesses?
- Leased Lines – Some may say that a fully dedicated leased line is ‘overkill’ for a home-based business, but there may not be a suitable alternative. From symmetry to speed, there is, technically speaking, no better option. Compare leased line rates to keep the prices down.
- Business Broadband – Typically a little more costly than domestic broadband, but you may receive a better service. Business broadband has a few advantages of domestic, including service guarantees and compensation, prioritised traffic, added security, and better customer service.
- Domestic Broadband – For those living in a ‘superfast’ region, domestic broadband may provide the speeds required to get to work, but the overall service may not meet the needs of a growing home-based business. There’s a reason businesses choose business broadband over domestic.
The Big Picture
Many are arguing that home-based businesses need to be the focus of business broadband changes in the future. After all, what would happen if these 2.75 million businesses were unable to operate due to poor connections? Millions of people out of jobs, a significant drop in ecommerce, and the risk of a struggling economy. With such a lack of options, it’s not surprising more and more businesses are starting to switch to leased lines, which provide a faster, more reliable service, every day of the week.