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How to choose a business broadband provider

Broadband internet is the way 21st century businesses are operating. Whether used to support management of customer information or as a delivery mechanism for products, broadband is the only choice in areas of availability. Fewer businesses try to function without high-speed internet and with today's prices and packages there is no need to.

Don't just opt for the cheapest offer. Do consider a few key questions before signing on the dotted line:

Do I have to be tied into a contract for a year?
Look closely at contract terms and lengths. if relocation is a possibility, or you just want to test a service a long contract won't be suitable.

How much speed do I need?
How many computers will be share the connection? Don't economise on a provider that is only slightly faster than dial-up, it's not worth the frustration of slower speeds and it could have a negative impact on productivity.

Am I buying a consumer package?
Consumer broadband packages may be cheaper but have significant limitations - no dedicated business-level support, download limits, and so on. Buying a consumer package may not allow the best performance from your broadband connection.

Do you provide the necessary hardware and support to get me connected?
Will I receive a free modem and adequate information to get my business on-line? If I do get a free modem is that tied up with longer contract terms. Is it worth getting tied up in a 2 year contract to save buying a modem?

Is the phone line included?
Phone lines are often bundled with broadband, and can bring prices lower again. An active ADSL enabled phone line is required in order to install a broadband connection

Is email included in the price? What about web space?
Check there is no added extra's charged for services like multiple email accounts and website hosting facilities.

What happens if my business increases in size and I need further services?
Always think big and decide whether your provider will be capable of competitively supporting your business if it increases in size. Also extra phone lines or additional bandwidth might be needed.

Does the provider have a heritage?
Providers around for a long time are safest but don't just jump on the best advertised company, Really explore options. Larger providers are more likely to have less server down time.

Will I get business quality customer support?
It's very important to get appropriate response time to service for your business. The technical support line should be a freephone number (not an 0870 premium rate number) available 7 days a week.

What am I buying broadband for?
For advanced networking services, such as VPNs for remote working, ftp and web hosting, consider an SDSL line or even a leased line service. For a second voice line, or the capacity to add voice lines as needed, search for a bundled service to meet requirements.

Some Business Broadband suppliers

Fasthosts Business Broadband
BT Business Broadband
Demon Business Broadband
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