There are a range of different options available to small businesses when it comes to broadband. This tip sheet outlines the questions a small business owner should ask when choosing a broadband product.
When trying to decide which broadband product is right for your business, consider:
- Which types of broadband services are available? For information on the services that may be available to you, access our brochure: Understanding your options for broadband connection.
- What type of service would best suit the needs of the business in terms of speed, mobility and monthly data allowance? Refer to your broadband bills from the last 6-12 months to calculate your typical usage.
- Do you need both phone and broadband services? If so, consider the option of bundling (getting all the services from the same provider). You might also want to include mobile services in this bundle. This could save you money but make sure that all the services meet your needs otherwise you could end up spending more than you need to.
- Do you need to upload a lot of data? For example if you are operating a video streaming service or other content rich business.
- Do you have more than one business location? This could mean that you want to have a dedicated link between the buildings that only your staff can use.
- Do you need a highly reliable service? This could mean you need to install a backup system that cuts in should your main link fail. Consider options allowing access to work if the broadband is down, such as working from home using your personal broadband, or using a mobile broadband service.
- Are there service issues in your area? Whirlpool forums may offer personal opinions of the services in your area and this could prompt you to query your provider about the specific issues prior to signing up for a service. Some examples are slow speeds, service interruptions or a lack of ADSL ports at your local exchange.
Before selecting your options and agreeing to a contract, it is important to make sure your provider understands your service requirements, and what the purpose of the service is for your business. This will help you to enforce your consumer rights if the service you buy doesn't suit your needs.
How do I get a value for money product?
Follow these steps to ensure you are getting the best value for money with your telecommunications products:
- Check your bills from the last 6-12 months to see what you're being charged and to determine if your plan meets your needs. If your usage is increasing and you keep going over your limits, then it might be time to look for a new plan.
- Shop around using comparison websites such as WhistleOut to compare products from a range of providers. Review your plan every 18-24 months in line with your business plan.
- Use your providers' spend management tools to keep track of your usage.
- Check your bill regularly to identify any out of the ordinary charges.