1. “Up To” Or “Average”? What’s The Actual Download Speed?
Currently when ISPs advertise broadband speed, they often talk about it being “up to” 80Mbps. This headline speed shows the highest speed of data transfer possible through that connection – it’s not necessarily the speed you will see on a day-to-day basis.
To get a more realistic view of the kind of speed you can anticipate, you need to find out from your ISP the average speed in your area.
Actual speed depends on a wide range of issues such as distance from the local exchange, through to the number of people using a network. Ofcom has made moves to clarify the advertisement of broadband speeds through the 2010 voluntary code of practice. As more ISPs volunteer to take on this practice, it will mean greater clarity for businesses looking to buy broadband. However, Ofcom is only encouraging, it’s not enforcing ISPs who have not yet signed the code to do so or to adobt the same or similar measures.
2. Is Unlimited Really Unlimited?
When buying your business broadband, it’s essential to have a clear idea of what your usage will look like. Will you be running multiple web-based applications? Will you be streaming a lot of content? How quickly will you need to upload and download data to enable smooth business activity?
While a few ISPs tout unlimited usage, it’s important to find out what “unlimited” truly means. There are truly unlimited solutions available but in some cases, unlimited may mean there’s a fair usage policy in place, which restricts usage and can result in penalties.
Not only do you need to know about any limitations in place but also what the impact of exceeding these limits may be. Will there be extra charges? Could connection speeds be vastly reduced or perhaps even cut off entirely?