BEarlier this year, the BBC published a story on their technology blog, written by Technology Correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones. The title? ‘Broadband – Do We Want it Cheap or Good?’. It’s certainly an interesting subject to mull over, but it also sparks the question of why can’t businesses have both? At a time when a reliable connection is essential to the day to day operations of many UK businesses, why should business owners be forced to choose one or the other? Why can’t internet be cheap AND good?
Cheap OR Good
On the whole, it’s easy to see where the BBC story has come from, with Cellan-Jones touching on the idea that we can either opt to ‘get hold of broadband as quickly as we can but pay as little as possible’, or choose an ‘expensive but future-proof connection’, such as fibre to the premises (FTTP) or a leased line. There’s no denying, of course, that a standard ADSL connection is both cheaper and quicker to install than a ‘future-proof’ alternative, but this doesn’t always mean that these alternatives are unobtainable.
Cheap AND Good
The concept of ‘cheap or good’ is actually one that’s quickly becoming outdated. In fact, leased line prices, and prices for other advanced connectivity options, have dropped significantly in recent years. Reports show that there’s been roughly a 50% price drop since the widespread introduction of leased line services in the UK, and further drops are expected in line with new Ofcom regulations (which also, incidentally, impose new guidelines for installation, bringing the average time down to just 40 days).
And it doesn’t stop there. As a nation, we’re quickly becoming obsessed with price comparison websites (PCW), with the Financial Conduct Authority claiming that we can enjoy ‘significant benefits from using a PCW’. Many of us use these websites when shopping for insurance products, toys, and even for our groceries, but PCW’s are now expanding further, with websites such as Leased Line Comparison helping businesses to find the best rates, service level agreements, and contracts for leased lines. This is done by looking at the many different packages offered by leased line service providers operating in the UK.
Looking back just a few years ago, to a time before business-oriented price comparison websites and a time before stricter Ofcom regulations, it’s easy to see how future-proof connectivity products like leased lines and FTTP gained a reputation for being unaffordable. Today, however, the situation is much different, and these concepts are very outdated. In today’s world, it IS possible to have a good business internet connection for an affordable price, and businesses are being urged to take these opportunities.