Consumer Broadband a “false economy” for Small Businesses

Consumer Broadband a “false economy” for Small Businesses

19th November 2010

Almost a quarter of small firms are at risk of restricting their internet use or paying more than they need to by using consumer broadband, new research has found.

The recent survey of 1,000 small firms by price comparison website Consumer Choices found that 24% used broadband packages designed for consumer use rather than subscribing to commercial broadband, in the belief home services were cheaper. Just 59% of respondents subscribe to business broadband services.

However, Consumer Choices’ head of business development, Simon Piper, said small firms using consumer broadband could suffer from poor connection speeds or lack of bandwidth.

“The most important difference between business and consumer packages is bandwidth. By using a business package, you can also get IP addresses from which to run your website as well as direct company email. Another difference is that you’ll have better access to priority customer support.”

“You can get business packages from £10 a month and make additional savings – up to 20% – if you bundle your broadband with your phone lines. Don’t assume you’ll get better prices on a consumer package than a business one.”

Piper recommended that even small-business owners working from home use a business broadband package and warned that users should check the terms and conditions of any consumer deals, as using a consumer package for work purposes is not always permitted by internet service providers.

Co–owner of small business Screendrip Digital Marketing, Charlie Southwell said:

“As we’re small, some days we work from home, so we do use our home broadband, but this would be an issue if we were to do it more than a couple of days a week.”

“We would go through a typical consumer allowance of 40GB in less than a week if we were working on clients’ projects as well as monitoring Twitter and using social monitoring software. The sheer amount of data we consume means consumer broadband just wouldn’t work for us – in terms of speed, the faster the better.”

Consumer Broadband a “false economy” for Small Businesses

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