Whether you work or run a small business from home, bundling broadband with a phone package cuts costs.
Why get business broadband?
Signing up to a business broadband package will give you access to a host of benefits and add-ons that home broadband deals just don't offer.
While business broadband packages might not be advertised as being any faster than your home broadband package, most business providers offer priority network access with their business packages, meaning your business's internet traffic could get right of way over that of residential users.
Other benefits of business broadband packages include:
Priority customer support - Get the help you
need, when you need it to keep your business online and swiftly
deal with any problems.
Faster uploads - companies that add a lot of
content to their website, frequently need to send large files to
customers and partners or back-up a lot of information online need
fast upload speeds as well as decent download speeds - Something
that many business broadband packages offer.
- Web space and email addresses - Get your business up and running online by using the web space included with many business broadband packages to develop your own website and tailor the .co.uk email addresses that also come with many of them to carry the name of your website.
Business broadband static IP address
One of the major benefits that many business broadband packages provide is that they come with a static IP address, or the option of switching over to a static IP address. An IP address is a unique set of numbers used to identify each device connected to the internet. Most home broadband packages have dynamic IP addresses, which means you're assigned a new IP address each time you go online.
A static IP address means that you keep the same IP address, making it easier for your computer to be located and identified online. Having a static IP address enables you to host and run a website for your business, means you can connect to your work PC from wherever you are, allows you to securely send larger files than you could by email and also eliminates the risk of your broadband connection dropping out from the IP address being refreshed.
It's not just broadband that can offer a little extra when you upgrade to a business package - business phone packages also offer a range of features that could benefit your company.
Depending on the provider and phone package that you choose, you could take advantage of cheaper calls, discounted rates on mobile contracts which come with handsets and free 0845 and 0870 calls, as well as a range of different calling features.
Some of the other advantages of a business phone package include:
Business phone numbers - many providers offer
a wide range of business phone numbers. A local number can reassure
customers in your area, while a free, non-geographic number could
help you attract clients from further afield.
Second lines - if you need to, you can get
further lines installed, with certain providers offering discounts
if you order more than one line. A second landline for customers to
call you on can help you manage your calls.
Line installation - Many business broadband
and phone providers will install a new landline if your business's
premises do not already have one. Most business broadband and phone
providers will charge you to install a new line, but in some cases
they will do it for free when you sign-up for a business broadband
and phone package.
Personalised packages - many business
providers will allow you to choose from a range of call plans and
additional features to create a phone package that suits your
company's specific needs.
- Priority customer support - as with broadband, business providers know how important your phone service is to your business, so they will respond quickly to any fault on your line.
Business broadband and phone bundles
Business phone and broadband packages needn't be much more expensive than an equivalent home package, so even companies on a tight budget can benefit from the extra services offered by business packages.
Most business providers offer a discount if you take both your broadband and calls from them, allowing you to save on signing up to each service individually.
BT Business Broadband (www.Business.BT.com) offers speeds of up to 76Mb on its fibre broadband package, Infinity for business, and speeds of up to 16Mb on its standard broadband packages. The standard calling plan offers customers 500 minutes of calls to UK landlines, including 0870 and 0845 numbers, each month. The calling plan can be adapted to best suit your business by adding more minutes to it. You can call BT Business on 0808 189 1332.
TalkTalk Business (www.Talktalk.co.uk) broadband and phone packages offer prioritised broadband with "the fastest download speed your line can handle". TalkTalk Business gives you a choice of three call plans to take with its broadband packages - unlimited anytime UK landline calls; unlimited peak or off-peak calls and Unlimited anytime calls to UK landlines plus 500 mins to mobiles - and a broadband and landline-only option. To cater for differing business needs it also offers a range of phone package add-ons or 'builders'. For example, if your company makes a lot of international calls, the International Builder gives you 500 minutes of calls to landlines in listed countries a month. The Inbound Builder (0800) gives you your own 0800 number with 200 inclusive inbound call minutes a month. The Market Builder provides all the tools you need to give your business an online shop window including 20 email accounts, a website, a blog, a customer support instant messaging service, up to 750 email newsletters and search engine submission. Simply select the "Builders" that work best for you business. Call TalkTalk Business on 0800 458 4581.
Plusnet Business Broadband (www.Plus.net) offers Plusnet Business Phone with its three business broadband packages, each of which offer speeds of up to 17Mb. Plusnet Business Phone offers a range of calling features, such as Call Divert and Ringback, for customers to choose from when signing up for a package. As Plusnet Business owns and manages its network it is able to prioritise time-critical services, such as VoIP, for business customers. For Plusnet Business call 0114 296 5182.
O2 Business offers a business landline service as part of its All In package. This provides businesses with broadband speeds of up to 16.4Mb, a landline to which you can switch your existing number and its On & On mobile phone tariff, which gives you unlimited calls and texts and 1GB of data a month, with a mobile handset an optional extra. It also offers packages suitable for home businesses with up to two PCs, and Office 10 for business with up to 10 PCs. Contact O2 on 0800 389 5386.
Compare business broadband and phone providers
To find the business broadband and phone package that meets your needs, make sure that you with the broadbandchoices comparison calculator. This will enable you to compare the prices of the packages available in your area as well as making sure that you get a package that suits your business's broadband and phone requirements.
Business broadband only
If you already have a business phone package that you're happy with or simply feel you don't need one, there are plenty of business broadband only packages available for you to choose from. These offer the same speeds, usage allowances, features and optional extras as business broadband and phone packages.
These will often cost less than business broadband and phone packages. However, it's worth bearing in mind that if you are choosing a standard broadband package - one which delivers the internet via the copper wire telephone network, also known as ADSL broadband- you will still need a landline regardless of whether you intend making any telephone calls. If you go for a fibre broadband package or a much pricier leased line you don't need a landline.
When shopping for a business broadband-only package, think about the needs of your business and look for the speed, usage allowanceand and features that will most benefit your company. Don't be tempted to sign-up to a pricier package just because it offers you more - if you have no need for the extra features they will simply be a waste of money.
TalkTalk Business (www.Talktalk.co.uk) offers a business broadband-only package. The Office Broadband package requires a landline, but you can sign-up to it and remain with your current landline provider. It offers "the fastest download speed your line can take" andunlimited usage subject to afair usage policy. Call TalkTalk Business on 0800 458 4581.
Plusnet Business's (www.Plus.net) broadband packages all require a landline, but as with TalkTalk Business's they don't require you to change your current landline provider. Each package delivers speeds of up to 17Mb, with usage allowances ranging from 10GB a month to unlimited, subject to traffic management. For Plusnet Business call 0808 189 1286.
O2 Business broadband packages are available without you having to transfer your landline to the provider. These packages are suitable for up to ten business users, offering speeds of up to 16.4Mb and up to a 300GB usage allowance. Contact O2 on 0800 089 3302.
Eclipse (www.Eclipse.net.uk) offers a selection of standard business broadband only packages that can be used with any normal landline. These will give you the highest possible speed available on your connection and usage allowances between 10GB and unlimited, without being subject to a fair usage policy or traffic management, are available. Eclipse also offers fibre broadband, which doesn't require a landline and provides a minimum speed of 12Mb with up to 200GB of usage allowance. Get in touch with Eclipse on 0845 122 3339.