Does Cheap Broadband Offer a False Economy?

There are currently dozens of large corporations like television providers and business telecoms providers who are promoting their cheap broadband offers. To the consumer, the offer of broadband for just a couple of pounds a month seems fantastic, but is this really the case? Here, at SpecTronics we will explore whether cheap broadband is offering a false economy.

Are there currently widespread issues with cheap broadband?

Sky Broadband was one of the first corporations to tell the media that they have actually run out of bandwidth in certain areas of the country. This means that they no longer have the means to provide ‘respectable’ speeds without compromising the whole area.

If you take the time to visit the ‘help and support’ forums of the cheaper broadband providers, you will see that there are widespread issues across all of them. Many professionals actually believe that this could eventually cause an epidemic as the larger names continue to promote cheap broadband packages without restriction.

As many consumers are blindsided by the fantastic prices on offer what they tend to forget is that cheap broadband will always experience the most downtime. Furthermore, the speed issues can make using the Internet in peak hours impossible.

A cheap broadband provider generally does not have a guaranteed fix time. This means if you do experience a problem that is out of your hands, your Internet could be down for days. So when you are purchasing cheap broadband you have to ask yourself “can you afford to be without your Internet for that length of time?”

How do I know what speed I will receive?

The speed that you can expect from your broadband provider comes down to your contention ratio. This ratio details the number of people in your area that are using bandwidth from your provider. Essentially this is the number of people you are sharing your connection with.

In a large majority of cases if you are signing up to a cheap broadband package from a well-known provider, you can assume that this ratio is 50:1 which means that you are sharing it with 49 others. This tends to be the maximum number of people allowed on the same connection. Every time one of these people signs on and starts using their connection your speed will slow down. This means that in peak hours, your speed may be significantly limited.

What is the solution?

They say that in life you get what you pay for, and this is the case with inexpensive broadband. The huge corporations can afford to offer cheap broadband because they sell thousands of packages a day, which means they can cover their expenditure.

A reputable business broadband provider will offer you a much lower contention rate, which means that you will not be sharing your broadband with as many people.  Furthermore, you should also receive a fix time, which means that if you do experience issues out of your control, you can be sure that your broadband will be working again shortly.

The last major benefit is that some business packages offer a guaranteed minimum speed. This is one of the main benefits because you can be sure that you will always receive that minimum speed at least speed regardless of when you log on.

At SpecTronics, as well as reliable IT support in London it is our goal to provide you with a broadband service that you can rely upon.

Editors note

Ben Spector is the Managing Director at SpecTronics UK and a highly experienced IT Consultant. He studied Electrical & Electronic Engineering at the University of Manchester and worked in Project Management before moving into the IT Industry. His areas of expertise are Network Infrastructure, Google Apps and VoIP.

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2013-02-18T14:00:52+00:00

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