Does your business need dedicated internet?
Before we answer why you might need dedicated business internet, we need to first think about why the internet access is so important to businesses. The internet has become such a commodity now that it’s easy for us to take it for granted, especially given its broad availability and use in our everyday lives.
But when we think about what businesses need to be successful in this day and age, oddly the internet isn’t the highest on the agenda for many companies.
Nearly all companies will need the internet for e-mails, sales and marketing activity and HR/payroll as a bare minimum. So, when does your internet connection become business critical? The minute your business opens.
Types of business internet
There’re 4 main types of internet – ADSL, FTTC, and FTTP & dedicated leased lines. Each service has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, you’ll just need to figure out which one suits your businesses needs.
ADSL is the most basic form of business internet & is ideal for small companies that barely use the internet. The way it works is simple, a copper lines goes from the telephone exchange to your local roadside cabinet, then from there another copper wire runs from the cabinet to your premises.
FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) is similar in the way its deployed but rather than copper coming from the exchange point to the roadside cabinet, it’s replaced with fibre, hence the name. a copper line is then run from the roadside cabinet to your premises. This service is also suited to smaller companies but it can offer slightly higher speeds compared to ADSL.
Fibre to the premises, or FTTP for short is often confused with FTTC due to the similarity in name. FTTC is a mixture of fibre and copper whereas FTTP is full fibre, again its deployed in a similar way to FTTC. Fibre runs from the exchange point to your local roadside cabinet, then another fibre line is run from the cabinet to your premises.
This type of business broadband is slowly becoming the favourite due to the bandwidth you can achieve. FTTP is, again, suited to small or medium sized businesses. Because the speeds are higher & full fibre is more reliable than copper its easier for SME’s to run web-based business applications .
All these business broadband solutions are shared services, meaning you’ll be sharing the line with every other home and office in the area. This can decrease your speeds and reliability at peak times, leading to lower productivity and occasionally complete shutdown of online activities, which can be fatal to certain businesses.
Dedicated Leased Lines
The last type of business internet is dedicated internet access -ethernet Leased Lines, which are the most superior . The way they work is completely different to broadband, a fibre line runs directly from the exchange point to your premises, missing out the roadside cabinet completely.
Bypassing the roadside cabinet adds substantial benefits, such as, increased speeds and no contention ratio. The contention ratio is non-existent because the line is exclusively for you, unlike broadband, and they have symmetrical download and upload speeds and consistency. This gives leased lines added resilience & reliability, since you’re the only user on the line you’ll never have downtime and the line will never drop out. All Leased Line providers will either resell Virgin Media,BTnet, TalkTalk,Colt or SSE usually substantially cheaper the providers themselves.
How much is business internet?
The cheapest business broadband service you can get is ADSL, this is because of its decreased speeds and reliability. broadband speeds on copper lines degrade over distance, so the further you are from the street cabinet the worse your speeds. ADSL starts from £15+ per month, this price depends on provider and availability in your area. With ADSL a business broadband package will usually include broadband and phone line.
Standard business broadband starts from around £20 per month, but you would be sharing with up to 50 other homes and businesses. This will cause speeds to fluctuate throughout the day & users are likely to experience downtime & buffering. If the line should ever fail you can be waiting weeks for it to be fixed.
The other main drawback of this is fix time can be days, weeks, months and the impact of no internet for that period of time for your internet can be devastating, not to mention the time you spend actually getting through to someone to log the fault.
FTTP is the next broadband up from FTTC, it’s slightly pricier due to the use of an all fibre circuit. Its on the market for around £35-£70 per month, depending on provider and speed you require. The disadvantages for Fibre to the premise is similar to those of Fibre to the cabinet, although you may receive more speed from FTTP, this speed isn’t guaranteed. Speed will decrease due to the number of users on the line, and therefore so will the reliability, i.e. downtime and cutting out etc.
Dedicated Internet Costs
The best dedicated business internet businesses can get are fibre leased lines for the best dedicated business internet available. This would be fibre delivered to your business that gives you dedicated symmetrical upload and download speed and is a crucial service for internet critical businesses. Another benefit of Leased Lines is the SLA (Service Level Agreement) that come included in the package.
This SLA includes a speed promise, business level customer service, and guaranteed fix time (within 4-6 hours). The price of Leased Lines can vary due to distance from exchange point, speed you require, if you incur any ECC’s (Excess construction charges) etc. But to give you an idea, the lower bandwidths start from around £150 per month. Leased Line normally have a static IP address included in the package, which is handy for businesses.
Leased lines are perfect for video conferencing, cloud based web applications & if anything ever goes wrong they have the fastest response times from the ISP’s. Many providers will offer a backup line so in the event your primary connection fails it automatically flips over to a FTTC or ADSL line so you can continue with business as usual.Prices start from £150 a month with free install, although it depends on your location and the bandwidth you need.
Luckily, if this seem a little out of budget for you there is a solution. The Government has released a Gigabit Voucher Scheme, this allows you to get £2,500 of the cost of a Leased Line. There are a few requirements you must meet first, such as having a minimum speed of 100MB/1GB and being a UK based business etc.
What is the best internet for business?
Dedicated internet service are more secure & reliable that traditional broadband and will often include firewall designed with extra protection from viruses and spyware . Business broadband services are adequate for small businesses who don’t require a lot of bandwidth or reliability, but if these two factors are essential for your business then a dedicated service is the best option.
With a dedicated business service, more so an internet Leased Line, you’ll receive symmetrical and consistent speeds, amazing reliability, 1-to-1 contention, among many other benefits. This type of internet is essential for businesses who run online applications, use a business phone (VoIP), send/and receive large files, maintain websites etc. Availability for Leased Line are wide ranging, you can get one anywhere within the UK.
Compare dedicated business internet providers
There are hundreds of providers that supply business broadband around the UK, but which one has the best business broadband deals? One way to find this out is compare them all manually. Firstly, you’ll need to figure out your requirements, such as, the speed you require, how much data you’ll be using, the distance you are from the roadside cabinet etc.
Once you’ve figured these out you can then go to each provider, explain your requirements, receive your quotes, and then go through the lengthy and tedious process of manually comparing each of them. An easier way to get the cheapest prices in your area is to run a comparison with us. All you have to do is fill out our FTTP webform, wait for a call from one of our helpful advisers, and then you’ll receive your free and impartial quotes either the same or following day.
Now, with Leased lines the requirements you need to figure out are slightly different, these include – the speed you require, the distance you are from the exchange, how rural you are, and if you have any ECC’s (you’ll find this out after a site survey). Once again, you’ll have to go through the long and monotonous process and manually getting quotes and comparing them all to find the most suited and cheapest for your business.
This headache can all be avoided, all you need to do is fill out one of our Leased Line webforms, waiting for one of our advisers to call you, and voila, the quotes will be on the way.