Why Choosing a UK Broadband "package" is so Important
What is a Broadband Broker?
A Broadband Broker has a similar role to that of an Insurance Broker, who advises customers on the best product available to them depending on their individual circumstances.
easyBroadband is part of Power Comms, and associated with the easy-dial service which was a Telecoms Service Provider trading since 1995. So we have a good understanding of the types of Broadband available in the UK, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and by partnering with a number of leading suppliers over the range of Broadband products from Fixed Line, Wireless and Satellite, we can provide independent advice, backed up by the expertise available from those partners.
Why do I Need Broadband Advice?
Unless you are technically minded and have an IT background, many of the technical terms used by Broadband suppliers will be unfamiliar, and so you will need to seek advice.
The current supplier of your service will obviously promote their “new” product when the time comes, or when your existing contract expires.
But will it be the best value and will it suit your particular requirements? Are you able to speak with somebody when you need to? Many large telecom companies have notoriously poor customer service, and are only particularly helpful when there is a risk of non-renewal of a contract. And if you run a business, do you have an IT Department to handle this?
The easyBroadband service bridges the gap between Customer and Supplier and in many cases will save you money.
Do you advise both Homeowners and Businesses? YES!
“There is nothing more irritating than not being able to understand the terminology when all you want is a simple explanation and clear guidance. I just need sufficently good Broadband at home to fulfil my Internet needs and a phone system that allows me to call nationally and internationally at reasonable prices.”
A Typical Homeowner
“Our Business is not large enough to warrant an IT Department and so we are looking for clear guidance and simple advice to ensure that we have the best value and most effective solutions for our business needs – decent Internet access 24/7, a PBX system for our Office and Mobile Services for our staff.”
A Typical Business Owner
BT Switch Off – How Fixed Line Broadband in the UK Will be Affected
Within a few years, the UK’s telecoms networks are going to change massively, with British Telecom (BT) the UK’s primary PSTN, shutting down its traditional phone lines in favour of internet-based systems.
BT will not provide ISDN and PSTN services in the UK past December 2025, pushing for all its Home and Business customers to make the move to VoIP and SIP solutions. After the BT switch off, all PSTN ADSL and ISDN services will cease to operate and there will be no maintenance available on any of these types of circuits. BT has already stopped the sale of ISDN services and will do the same for PSTN telephone lines well before the final PSTN switch off date – meaning you can’t upgrade any existing services using traditional phone lines.
Because most UK Broadband suppliers use BT circuitry. this switch off will affect the vast majority of homes and businesses from all sectors across the UK, so it makes sense to do some research now, check out all the options and get ahead of the rush – and maybe switch over early to an Internet-based solution.
For Business, as part of this transition from old technology or “legacy systems“ to an Internet service, upgrading current legacy hardware, including PBX’s, may also be something to consider. Many older phone systems in businesses today will need to be either scrapped, replaced, or upgraded with additional components to allow them to continue working over new IP Telephony lines (for example, SIP Trunks).
We have provided a simple guide to the common terms in use for the different types of UK Broadband Product – please see our UK Broadband Explained page.
For more info and choices based upon your location in the UK, please complete our FREE Broadband Report Form
What About Wireless or Mobile Broadband? And Satellite Broadband?
The other big news is from the UK Mobile market with the advance of the new 5G Network technology – we explain more about the background to this, and the older 2G, 3G and 4G Networks in our services page.
What is not often realised is that the Mobile networks can offer extremely fast Fixed Wireless Broadband (Router required) with the new 5G technology, and this broadband service can often match the speeds obtainable with Fixed Line Broadband, and can be a lot cheaper since no physical optic fibre (or cable) is required. There are certain considerations and limitations- such as the “line of sight” to, and the proximity of, a suitable Mast (see diagram example) but many businesses or other high bandwidth users should consider this option if available in their area.
For most mobile phone users, the existing 4G Networks available for Mobile Broadband offer reasonable broadband services, with coverage over most of the UK, and prepaid (or PAYG) data SIMCards used with dongles or mifi products can be a good broadband solution for Homeowners or Homeworkers.
Satellite Broadband is also becoming a viable option. As more suppliers enter the market, more satellites are launched and Broadband speeds are improving. There will always be the potential problem of latency (delay in transmission and reception) and the possible planning permissions needed to physically instal the required satellite dish (or Antenna). But for areas in the UK where cabling for “regular” Fixed Line Broadband is not available, or the Wireless coverage is poor, (no nearby Mast) Satellite Broadband is definitely worth considering.
What about New Broadband Equipment? Do you provide this?
For many Broadband solutions, there will be a need for new equipment. This will range from iP Handsets to Dongles, MiFi devices, data SIMcards, specialist Routers and Satellite dishes etc. – please refer to our Services Page for descriptions and more examples.
In almost all cases, the new equipment needed will be supplied by the Broadband provider, and the price may often be included in the contract rental. Some equipment can be ordered directly from the supplier’s on-line shop, and despatched as per their terms and conditions.
Our FREE Broadband report will often specify what new equipment may be needed and will give you some options and advise you as necessary. We will also advise whether an installation cost will apply – for example a satellite dish, or FTTP cable instal.
Larger Business solutions require more specialised equipment and solutions – for example a modern PBX which can integrate with a Leased Line (or SIPTrunk), and dedicated ipHandsets in a Fixed Line environment. A Wireless environment would require a specialised high speed Router normally provided by the Wireless Broadband supplier.
Do I Have to Pay Anything?
NO – the initial Broadband Report we produce for you based on the information you have provided is FREE. If you are satisfied with the recommendations and/or options given to you in the Report, and open a contract or purchase a product accordingly, we may receive commission from the supplier concerned. In some cases, we may advise you that you already have a suitable service and that there is no reason to change it.
Where a more detailed report is required – for example from a business with multiple users, and consideration has to be given to a range of different requirements – we may charge a fee, but only as agreed in advance by you.
Do You Have any General Recommendations?
Bearing in mind that any specific advice can only be given once we receive details about location etc. as per our Free Broadband Report, here are some general observations.
Contract or Prepaid?
As our favourite Blogger has commented in a recent Post, most Telecom Companies want you to sign up to a fixed contract – the longer the term the better.
Most “fixed line” and “wireless” broadband requires a contract of service for a defined period – from 12 months to 5 years. The longer the contract the lesser the cost, but the downside is that better and cheaper services or products may become available in that time frame and/or the customer may find that he/she needs more Bandwidth for various reasons. We strongly recommend that any broadband contract of 12 months or more has a service upgrade option. A 30 day or 3 month option may also be available for some services if needed for special situations.
Mobile Pay-as-You-Go (PAYG)
Most UK Mobile networks also insist on 12 month+ contracts for Voice and Data – phone calls and Internet access. However, some networks offer prepurchase of Bandwidth with an associated SIMcard package – for example, a data only SIM card in your home or office based 5G Router or other mobile device may offer 40Gb of data access over a 30 day period which in many instances is more than enough for the home user or small business. This can work out considerably cheaper than a contract – especially if also used for overseas travel, and where independent Voip services can be used for making international calls. There is more SIM specific advice on the new easySIM website.