BT Business broadband – everything you need to know
In this guide
- Who is BT Business?
- What does BT Business broadband offer?
- Landline calling packages
- What are the alternatives?
- Frequently asked questions
BT Business broadband is aimed at small to medium-sized businesses. Its packages share an awful lot in common with its residential broadband offering, except in many cases adding features which are desirable to businesses and largely useless to your average home broadband user: Static IP addresses, cloud voice functionality and so on.
Every level of BT Business broadband is aimed at a specific size of business, and has multiple versions, each adding one or more of these desirable business extras. Let's take a look at what BT Business is offering in a little more detail.
Who is BT Business?
BT is perhaps the UK's best-known brand when it comes to home telecoms supply. What you may not be aware of, though, is BT's popularity with small the medium-sized businesses. While BT Business' ten different business broadband and phone packages may seem a little more confusing than the two or three options you'll see from most business providers, they are sensibly laid out and all of them do enough to justify their own existence.
In essence you have three broadband types: ADSL (non-fibre), superfast fibre, and ultrafast fibre with two different speed options. Then within those categories you will find a basic version, and versions with certain desirable extras. Here is what you can get from BT Business, depending on what you need and how much you are willing to spend.
- Traditional or digital phone line – A digital phone line is essentially voice over IP. Advantages include clearer sound and some features that are difficult or impossible to implement on a traditional analogue phone line. You can opt for a digital phone line only on BT Business' top-end packages
- Static IP address(es) – You'll get one free static IP address on all of BT Business' 'Enhanced' business broadband packages. Enhanced packages come with better IT support (described further down). A static IP, as opposed to a dynamic IP, means you will have a permanent address for your router and/or devices on the internet. Useful if you plan to run a company server. You can also add additional static IP addresses to your package should you need them
- 4G Assure – Comes on all 'Enhanced' BT Business broadband packages. With 4G assure, your broadband connection will automatically switch to 4G mobile broadband when there is a fault, ensuring that you stay connected no matter what
- Symantec device protection – Covers your PCs, laptops, Macs and mobiles and ensures they are protected from cyber attacks
- Enhanced IT support – Included on all 'Enhanced' BT Business broadband deals, enhanced IT support makes available a UK-based support team, there to help you any time, 24/7
- Keep same number for life – With any package that includes a digital phone line (Cloud Voice Express), you can keep using your business number for life. It can never be taken away or changed
- Call Filter – Blocks calls from numbers appearing on BT's blacklist, which BT updates regularly. Call Filter will save your time by blocking many spammy calls
- Ultrafast option where available – Though very limited in availability, BT Business has just started rolling out two 'ultrafast' options, with speeds up to 152Mbps and 314Mbps respectively. We say 'ultrafast' in scare quotes, since the 152Mbps package does not meet the official criteria of ultrafast (300Mbps or greater). Marketing, eh?
What does BT Business broadband offer?
Obviously – or perhaps not obviously – being a business broadband and phone provider, you won't be able to add a BT TV or BT Sport package to your bundle like you would if you were getting BT Broadband for your home. Plus, although BT Mobile has SIMs, tablets and phones aimed at businesses, you won't be able to bundle them in with your BT Business broadband. You'll have to get them separately. Briefly then, here is what BT Business does offer.
- Broadband for small to medium businesses – BT Business offers a wider range of speeds and packages than most small business broadband provider, but you'll be extremely lucky if you live somewhere you can get BT Business' 'ultrafast packages' and that does narrow things down some
- Phone lines – With a choice of a value, standard or digital phone line, as well as literally dozens of bolt on extras you can add at the checkout should you so desire, BT Business has one of the most comprehensive and flexible landline offerings of any business broadband provider. More information on this can be found in the next section
- Business Mobile SIMs and phones – BT Mobile will supply your business with whatever it needs in the way of mobile communications: SIMs, phones, tablets, you name it. Annoyingly, though, it will not allow you to bundle any of this in with your business broadband deal, and neither does it offer any discounts for taking out business mobile deals at the same time as signing up
- Leased lines and bespoke solutions – If you have a large business or corporation, BT Business does offer bespoke leased line solutions that offer crazy speeds to firms with dozens or hundreds of employees, but as you might expect, such things are extremely expensive
BT Business landline packages and extras
Depending one what package you choose, you'll get either a traditional, analogue phone line or a digital VOIP line for your business. Beyond that overarching choice, there will then be a number of add-on options to consider, depending both on what you need and on what you are prepared to spend.
- Four service levels for your line – In ascending order of price, they are: Value Line, where fault repair occurs within two working days, Standard Line (end of next working day), Value Line with Critical Care (within six hours), or standard line with critical care (within 6 hours)
- Free calling features – For nothing, you can add 1571 (a free answering service), 1471 (get last caller's number), and Caller Display (so you can see who is calling you)
- Bolt-on features at additional cost – Call Diversion, Call Barring, Call Sign (distinctive ringtones for specific callers), 3 Way Calling, Reminder Call, Call Waiting and Ring Back When Free can all be added at additional cost, and you can get a discount by bundling several of these together
What are the alternatives?
There are a number of other business broadband providers in the UK offering packages to small businesses, many of whom are known predominantly for their home broadband packages. Like BT Business, many of these are consistent in the way they differentiate their business packages from their residential ones: Static IPs, increased support and service levels, expanded landline options and so on. Let's take a look at BT Business' closest competitors.
- Hyperoptic – Though this provider only has a tiny footprint (low availability, highly unlikely you can get it) it is nevertheless the only business (and residential) provider in this line-up able to offer gigabit broadband (1,000Mbps) and with upload speeds the same as its download speeds
- Plusnet Business – Plusnt is owned by BT, so don't expect anything vastly different here. It does, however, have a rather better customer service reputation than BT does – worth considering if that's what matters to you most
- XLN – Is a rather unusual provider for small businesses as its services go way beyond simple business broadband. It also offers gas and electricity, water, mobile SIMs and payments systems. For some businesses there is the opportunity, then, to get all your basic services from a single provider
- TalkTalk Business – Offers basic packages up to 76Mbps with the usual bolt-on options of static IP addresses and so on. Very little of note or worthy of recommendation with TalkTalk Business broadband, but it is cheap
- Virgin Media – Should be considered BT Business' number one competitor when it comes to a comprehensive service for all types of small to medium-sized businesses. Its broadband is faster than BT's, it offers a better router, and potentially more static IP addresses, though it is not guaranteed you can get it. Virgin Media sits at about 60% Uk availability
- /broadband/business-broadband/reviews/vodafone/Vodafone Business – Provides business broadband packages that are incredibly similar to its residential deals
Frequently asked questions
Can you get BT Sport on BT Business Broadband?
No. You cannot bolt on any form of BT TV package with your BT Business broadband deal.
How much is BT Business broadband a month?
Depends what you need. Prices vary widely, with the most basic packages costing £20-30 per month, while faster, more capable options with any number of trimmings are going to cost your business significantly more.
Is BT Business good for broadband?
Yes. BT Business, along with Virgin Business and XLN offer the most comprehensive and flexible business broadband packages aimed at small businesses. Operating on the Openreach network, you can even get ultrafast speeds if your business premises is lucky enough to be located somewhere it's available. You can read our full BT Business broadband review here.
Who owns BT Business?
BT Group does. It's really that simple.
What's the difference between home and business broadband?
The most notable differences can usually be found in the extras you'll get in a business broadband package. Static IPs are usually available if not standard with a business package, and you can usually expect some sort of upgraded technical support beyond that offered with a package you would buy for your home.
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