UK Broadband coped well with lockdown

Telecoms regulator Ofcom reported that the surge in demand as a result of lockdown has not negatively impacted broadband speeds in the UK.

During the period of lockdown, some providers had been reporting daytime traffic increases of up to 60%, mainly due to a significant increase in home-learning and those working from home. Not only did the UK broadband network cope with the surge in use, it also saw average download speed decrease by just 2% during lockdown.

More people than ever before are now able to access faster broadband speeds than they could in September 2019. The average home speed is now 64Mbps, an increase of 18% on the previous year’s 54.2Mbps.

UK broadband coverage is getting better

As of December 2019, superfast broadband (download speeds of at least 30Mbps) was available to 95% of UK homes – that’s an increase of 300,000 homes compared with September 2019.

Full-fibre broadband coverage increased to 12% from 10% between September and December 2019.

Download speeds of at least 300Mbps are available to 55% of homes, an increase of 700,000 premises in comparison to September 2019.

The rural/urban divide still remains though. Whilst urban homeowners could expect average download speeds of 75Mbps in 2019, this was just 39Mbps for those living rurally.

However, Ofcom reveals that the gap is closing – albeit slowly. 44% of rural lines had access to superfast broadband in 2018, which rose to 56% in 2019.

Choosing your mobile provider

Choosing the right mobile phone provider is a difficult decision for any business. Not only can you utilise the networks direct, but you can also use independent providers such as Positive Business Communications. With so much choice out there, it can be more than a little overwhelming.

What do you need from your business mobile?

The main question you need to answer before deciding on your provider is what will you need your business mobiles for? If they are used as a replacement for your landline then you’ll need to consider usage and your package. If you are going to utilise them as a form collector or for employees on the road then you need to consider data usage.Knowing the purpose of your mobile phones will help you choose the right plan for your requirements, from the best deals on data to a package that offers lots of free minutes. We understand that you may need some guidance on what is best for you and so at Positive we will work with you to understand your needs and put in place a solution that fits.

Can I rely on the provider’s service?

There’s no point in signing up to a network if you simply don’t get the coverage when and where you need it. That’s why one of the most important things to check before committing to a mobile business plan is to check the reliability of the signal of the provider. We can offer a loan SIM card to test out the signal in some of the key areas of your business, to ensure that your solution will work for you.

What about the cost?

Obviously, as a business, when choosing your business mobile phone solution then cost is a big factor. You need to offset the cost versus the usability and reliability of your chosen network and the out-of-bundle costs need to be factored in.  You also need a provider who will regularly review your contract, like Positive Business Communications, so that you are never spending more than you need to and changes can be made to your account to reduce unnecessary spend.

Hosted v On-Premise Telecom Solutions

The traditional PBX telephone system is seeing less and less use in the business world, but it does still have its purpose.  There are two main variations of PBX – an On-Premise system or a hosted solution.

Hosted PBX

A hosted PBX solution means that you do not have any physical equipment (apart from your phones) on-site. Your phone solution provider is responsible for housing the necessary server for your business phones to function. No physical equipment on-site means that your solution is transferable and can be used from any geographic location – perfect for disaster recovery.

There are many benefits of having a Hosted PBX, which include:

  • Scalability – add or increase your capacity with ease
  • Security – servers have 24 hour security
  • Low maintenance – most can be done in-house
  • Disaster recovery – access your solution from any location at any time
  • You don’t need to house any equipment
  • No technical expertise required
  • It can be less expensive than a traditional PBX solution due to low-cost calls

On-Premise PBX

An on-premise PBX means that you house all the relevant PBX equipment at your location. Those with an on-premise PBX usually use SIP Trunking in order to establish a connection between the PBX and standard phone network (PSTN), using an internet connection.

An on-premise PBX is suitable for businesses who often have an in-house team dedicated to communication systems and rely on high call volume. An example of this is call centres, who often use on-premise PBX systems, as it gives them greater control over customisation and call quality. Another benefit to on-premise PBX is that monthly rental costs can be greatly reduced, but you must factor in that maintenance and staff may be required to maintain the system which will offset some of these savings.