Broadband: “good enough” isn't good enough
Product Manager - Connectivity
Before working in product management, I had positions in varying first line support roles for BT and Eclipse. These roles totally help me in my job today as the conversations I had with customers still resonate. Now, I often walk through the office and overhear calls and conversations that remind me of my years in support.
Only this week I overheard a conversation between one of our support team and a customer explaining the differences between broadband and leased line services. It’s a conversation I remember having myself as a Technical Support Advisor, but the conversation goes very differently today.
When I was talking about broadband with SME customers over 10 years ago, network requirements were very different. Most customers talked about a “business need” rather than “business imperative” internet access. If broadband was down for hours or even a day, it wasn’t the commercial nightmare they’d experience today.
Years later I'm hearing those conversations again except now a day’s downtime is impossible without huge loses or even businesses going under.
Today the conversation is about the constant and vital need for connectivity, however broadband simply hasn’t kept pace with this. Yes it’s got faster, cheaper and with FTTC more reliable but it’s still a best effort service and even with the best supplier relationships, faults do happen.
However what has happened is leased lines and SLA driven services dropping well within the price range of most business users. Wholesalers have seen the need and filled the market place with a range of fibre, copper and FTTC based leased line options designed to suit even the one man band's pocket. I won’t lie it’s a confusing market place (that’s why we shy away from acronyms and unnecessarily technical product names!) but with a little research and the right conversation, it’s clear to see that the leased lines which were once reserved for FTSE 250 sized companies are now easy to install, simple, affordable and most of all backed up with engineering and service guarantees (with the right supplier of course ;).
It really begs the question, at what point do UK businesses abandon standard DSL and move to a leased line? The answer really should be now if your business is to be best placed for the next wave of technical innovations….