When you're looking to set up a small business, be it from your own home or in a new premise, one important early decision that cannot be overlooked is what type of connectivity you're going to install.
No matter what line of business you're in, being able to have a strong online presence is essential. Whether it's taking bookings or orders online, responding to queries or complaints, or managing your suppliers, it's impossible to imagine running a business today without it.
Today there are a range of options to select from when it comes to choosing a business broadband package. So how do you know which is the best one for you?
Understanding the benefits of each product is essential if you want to avoid ending up with a system that meet your needs without paying over the odds for it. Here are some of the key terms to look out for:
ADSL (standard broadband)
When people refer to 'broadband', this is most likely what they're thinking of. As it has been the backbone of much of the country's connectivity network for the last decade.
It uses a standard phone line to connect to the internet - though unlike the older dial-up technology, it still allows you to make calls at the same time. Its main advantage is its simple to use and low cost, something that may make it an attractive choice for small businesses where penny-pinching is a key priority.
But while ADSL (“Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Link”) provides customers with a stable connection; it may not give businesses the bandwidth to meet their business needs. An ADSL2+ connection delivers speeds of 20Mbps for downloads while uploading speeds for example sending large files or videos or loading content to your website are 1mbps.
If you’re depending on your home broadband you may experience slow downloads at peak times such as afternoons or evenings as family members compete for bandwidth and speed when using the internet.
ADSL runs on copper phone lines, which means your speed can degrade significantly the further away from an exchange you are - something that can be a serious inhibitor if you're unlucky enough to be based more than a mile away from your nearest exchange.
Finally, if your business is dependent on your internet connection using home broadband it will mean that if there’s a fault, you might be waiting days in a long queue for repair. Whereas, if you choose a Business Broadband product you often get a guaranteed fix time which will give you peace of mind.
In summary if your business premise is in a good location and your business doesn’t rely on fast upload and download speeds, ADSL can be a great, simple and reliable choice for a small business. However, if your business relies heavily on having a fast internet connection then you should consider using an alternative product such as Fibre.
If ADSL doesn’t fit your business needs then you could consider Fibre. Unlike ADSL, which runs through a copper telephone line, Fibre uses the latest Fibre-Optic technology to transfer your data, the upshot of this is greater bandwidth and faster internet speeds for your business.
Your connection speed can depend on the package you select. A basic fibre package can deliver speeds starting at 24Mbps and can go up to 76Mbps. Some lines can be ten times faster than the average standard ADSL line. Upload speeds on Fibre are significantly better and can deliver up to 20 times higher than broadband, and unlike ADSL, speeds shouldn't degrade as dramatically as they depend on distance to the nearest phone cabinet.
Fibre connections are typically more expensive than broadband, but the cost has come down significantly in recent years, putting the technology within reach of the vast majority of businesses. Many businesses find the benefit far outweighs the extra pennies a day it costs versus standard broadband. However, work is still ongoing to deploy Fibre across the UK to ensure maximum reach.
If you're going to be uploading or downloading large amounts of data and want to use services such as high-definition video conferencing or cloud computing, the higher speeds offered by fibre may make it the better choice.
Check out TalkTalk Business’s range of business broadband and fibre packages. Whatever the best option for your business, you’ll be sure to find reliable service and great value.