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Business broadband offers and line rental packages

Digital Worldwide Web GraphicThese days, the business broadband market is just as competitive as the residential equivalent.

Almost all of the popular ISPs now offer unlimited usage packages from as little as £10 per month.

In fact, business broadband has become a commodity product with little difference between the top providers in terms of price. Instead, the main variables are speed, reliability, and add-ons.

Many bundles now include unlimited UK phone calls, static IP addresses, and software. Call our team of Internet specialists on 0844 472 1567 for today's deals, or see the latest plans available below.

When you're next looking to switch your business's broadband contract, our guide helps you through the steps. Continue reading below or select a link above to go straight to that section.

Guide to switching business broadband services

Step 1: Preparing to switch

Broadband fibre network diagramSwitching business broadband works the same way as home users and much easier than in previous years.

Previously you needed to contact your existing supplier to obtain a Migration Authorisation Code (MAC) which could be a lengthy and frustrating process.

Today, you don't even need to speak to your provider. Just select the new deal you're interested in, and your new broadband company does the switch on your behalf.

Step 2: Select a new broadband package

Business planning meeting in an officeComparing broadband prices at PowerExperts is the best way to find the package best suited for your company's digital requirements. Your line rental charges make up the bulk of any deal.

The market is reasonably competitive but pay close attention to how the deals are structured. You may see a cheap initial offer but this price could increase after 12 months. Most fibre contracts last for 24-months and all have similar prices.

Here are some of the current deals available.

If you want to stay with your current provider, then it's best to call the retentions team and say you're leaving. This strategy usually results in a discount on your current tariff.

Step 3: Switch your provider

Either by using an online comparison service or specialist broker, simply contact your new provider or follow the buying process to select the option you want. Your new supplier makes the switch and moves the billing on your behalf.

Provider Speed Calls Contract £/ month
Plusnet Up to 18Mb Anytime 12 months £5.99
BT Fibre Up to 76Mb None 24 months £15.00
Toople Up to 24Mb None 24 months £0.00
XLN Up to 76Mb Anytime 24 months £13.00
TalkTalk Up to 17Mb None 12 months £6.00

The prices quoted exclude VAT and line rental. The speeds quoted are the maximum download speed you'll receive with any product and depend on the time of day and how far your business resides from the main exchange.

Line rental costs, any connection fees, and upfront costs excluding VAT are:

Provider Upfront Line rental/ mth
Plusnet £4.99 £12.50
BT Fibre £8.00 £21.20
Toople £9.99 £19.50
XLN £9.99 £16.95
TalkTalk £8.99 £16.95

Which business broadband supplier is best for you?

Although there are many suppliers to choose from, they all use the BT network in various ways. Many providers open up an exchange with Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) which enables them to offer their own products. You can check if your exchange has these services by using the Sam knows broadband checker for your postcode.

BT Business broadband

BT offers businesses a vast array of options through their retail division as well as manages most of the backbone of the UK's network through their Openreach wholesale arm. All BT customers receive the following with their plans:

  • A Smart Hub router that has the strongest Wi-fi signal.
  • Free access to over 5 million Wi-fi hotspots.
  • 10 email accounts.
  • 24/7 customer support for technical queries.
  • Access to BT Sport on premium packages.
  • £5 per month discount on BT mobile phone packages.

BT is probably best if you don't require much support as they base their customer services in India and there are many reports on forums for poor service.

Plusnet

BT owns Plusnet so the service received is similar but they operate a UK-based customer service team based in Sheffield.

Although they offer similar product offerings to BT, their prices are usually much cheaper.

  • UK-based 24/7 customer service team.
  • Self-serving internet security shield.
  • Free wireless router worth £40.
  • One free .co.uk domain name, 250Mb of webspace and unlimited email addresses.

XLN Telecoms

XLN is a business-only broadband and energy supplier for over 250,000 UK customers. They have UK-based customer services and guarantee to beat any price in the market. They have an 8.6 out of 10 rating on Trustpilot.

  • XLN guarantee to beat any price and often save up to 40% on renewal quotes.
  • Their UK customer services guarantee to answer calls within three rings.
  • Lower than BT line rental but not the lowest of commercial suppliers.
  • Receive online security as standard.
  • Access to XLN public Wi-fi included as standard.
  • Download speeds over four times as fast as the UK average.

Toople PLC

A new entrant to the market, Toople has 1,000 SME customers with a unique and interesting business model. Business customers can get their standard broadband products free for life just by paying for line rental.

  • Get free-for-life broadband with unlimited downloads.
  • UK-based customer service team.
  • One free static IP address.
  • Competitive line rental tariff.

Although Toople is new to this industry, their current offers could save your business a significant amount of money each year.

TalkTalk Business

TalkTalk had a serious data breach and their customer service is below average, but now offer some enticing deals for business users.

  • Totally unlimited internet access with no usage caps.
  • Free new line installation if required.
  • Worksafe internet security suite.
  • UK customer service centre.

How to choose the right broadband deal

Checking out broadband deals for your business can be confusing. Most products appear similar, but check the contract terms and any special offers. Some providers allow you free access to Wi-Fi hotspots (e.g., BT), others provide free routers and unlimited usage.

All broadband speeds quoted are dependent on your business location in relation to the local exchange. Speeds are faster the closer your premises are to the exchange. Cable network speeds usually don't vary because of the nature of the fibre optic cable technology.

Your decision on who to choose will involve the following factors:

  • The download speed of your connection.
  • How much you want to spend each month.
  • Do you need a static rather than a dynamic IP address for your building connection to the internet?
  • The usage caps (or for unlimited use, the provider's "fair usage policy").
  • Does the package include a free wireless modem?
  • Any other offers available such as free wireless dongles, Wi-Fi hotspot access, or integrated landline numbers.

Capped usage limits are usually sufficient for most small business owners using email and general internet browsing.

Sources for the prices quoted above: