Can you switch business broadband during the Coronavirus crisis?

Business broadband

All businesses need fast, reliable business broadband package that won't let them down. Never more so than in the current climate. We take a look at what the Coronavirus crisis means for businesses looking to change provider and how it could affect your switch.

With more and more companies shutting their doors and moving their operations online in the face of the Coronavirus, it’s never been more important for businesses to have reliable, fast broadband.

The good news is that despite Coronavirus-related operational challenges faced by broadband providers, the overwhelming majority of business broadband switches are currently unaffected by the ongoing public health emergency.

So if you're ready to upgrade your package or change provider to get a better, quicker service, broadbandchoices is here to help you switch.

The less good news is that due to infrastructure provider Openreach’s announcement that it will not be carrying out installations until June, a minority of business broadband switches that require in-premises installation from an Openreach engineer have been delayed or postponed for the time being.

Read on and we’ll walk you through how business broadband switching has been impacted by the Coronavirus. And what it means for your switch.

Which business broadband switches aren’t affected?

If you’re switching between a standard broadband or fibre broadband service from BT Business, TalkTalk Business, Vodafone Business, XLN, Zen or BOnline, all of whom use the Openreach network, the switching process is as fast and smooth as it was before the Coronavirus.

These switches are not impacted because they do not require any work from an engineer and the service is entirely self-install.

If you’re switching from one of the above Openreach providers to Virgin Media Business, you can also switch and expect to be up and running as quickly as usual.

The reason for this is that Virgin Media operates its own network that’s separate to Openreach and is at present still sending its own team of engineers to install its broadband service where required.

It’s a similar situation if you’re switching to Hyperoptic’s business broadband service.

Like Virgin Media, Hyperoptic operates its own network and has its own staff of engineers, so switches are not impacted by Openreach’s policy.

As is standard, timeframes for all the switch categories outlined above should stand at two weeks or so from the time when you cancel your existing service.

Which business broadband switches are affected?

In a nutshell, switches impacted by Openreach’s policy are those that require in-premises installation by an Openreach engineer.

These are, for the most part, switches when the customer is switching from standard broadband or basic fibre broadband to a full-fibre ultrafast service.

For instance, if you were planning to switch to BT Ultrafast, you may not be able to do so. The major exception is if a previous occupant of your business premises has already had an ultrafast service installed.

You may also encounter problems with your switch if you’re planning to switch from Virgin Media Business or Hyperoptic Business to an Openreach business broadband provider, such as BT Business, TalkTalk Business or Vodafone Business.

However, if your company has been categorised by the government as a ‘critical national infrastructure customer’, you will still be able to book an Openreach engineer to complete your switch.

Businesses that meet this requirement include pharmacies, utilities, retail and wholesale food distribution outlets and financial services businesses.

Will my business broadband go down while I’m switching?

The process when you’re switching from BT business, TalkTalk Business, Vodafone Business, XLN, Zen or BOnline is very simple. And at the point the switchover happens, your downtime will be no more than a few minutes.

If you’re switching from one of the above providers to Virgin Media Business or Hyperoptic Business, you can expect downtime to be a couple of hours. Although you can avoid downtime altogether in these instances if you co-ordinate the start and end dates of your existing service and the one you're looking to join

So if it’s critical that your business stays connected at all times, you many want to use a MiFi as a substitute, stand-in connection.

Best business broadband deals right now

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*Average speeds are based on the download speeds of at least 50% of customers at peak time(8pm to 10pm). Speed can be affected by a range of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be lower than that listed above. You can check the estimated speed to your property prior to purchasing.

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