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03.11.2016 Back to Blog articles

Weekly broadband nightmares

Weekly Broadband Nightmares

Broadband is a crucial utility for businesses, yet despite its importance many firms - particularly small companies - struggle with everything from choosing a provider to keeping things running smoothly. 

Broadband Genie recently commissioned a survey examining the state of business broadband in the UK. In addition to gathering opinions on specific ISPs, we also looked at some of the general issues surrounding business broadband, such as the cost of downtime and satisfaction with important areas like technical support and value for money. 

Business broadband satisfaction

We asked decision makers at businesses across the country to rate their broadband service in five different categories. The figures were collated into a percentage rating, giving the following scores:

Speed: 77%

Reliability: 79%

Technical Support: 75%

Value: 76%

Customer Support: 75%

Overall average: 76%

These results aren’t bad, however it’s telling that the lowest figures are for support and service, rather than the performance of the connection. 

We also gathered information about specific ISPs. The highest rated provider was Zen Internet, with top ratings for customer service, tech support and value, and an overall satisfaction score of 88% (compared to the average 78%). 

The cost of business broadband

According to our survey, businesses spend an average of £139 per month on their broadband. But many could be getting it cheaper - half have never switched providers, citing complexity or the risk of downtime, among other reasons.

Broadband disruption is a major problem, especially for online businesses, and our research found that it costs an average of £904 for every hour broadband is offline during a work day. We also estimate that 1.5 million businesses suffer a problem with their broadband every week, yet nearly half of all companies have no dedicated technical support staff. 

3 tips for business broadband

  • Check your coverage

Use the exchange search tools at SamKnows.com to find out which types of broadband are available in your area. This is especially important if you’re opening a new office as lack of fast broadband could influence the decision, but even if you’ve been in the same place for some time it’s worth checking whether there’s a faster service available.

  • Look for business specific packages

Many business broadband services use the same technology as consumer deals so it’s tempting to go for the option that’s cheaper and just as fast. But it’s often worth paying for a business-specific deal to benefit from additional features (such as a static IP) and specialist support.

  • Know what to do when it doesn’t work

It’s important to have some kind of plan in place for when things inevitably go wrong. Smaller companies may not be able to justify a full or even part-time IT staffer, but perhaps instead you could use a local tech support company who you can call in when required. Alternatively, make tech support the deciding factor when selecting an ISP and choose a company which offers a level of phone support that’s suitable for your needs - some ISPs will provide assistance with PC and Mac hardware rather than just the broadband service.

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