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Plusnet Business broadband review

By Dan Howdle | Thursday, September 30th 2021

3.5/5

Plusnet Business broadband offers some solid and affordable options for the small business owner either working from a small office or from home. With reasonable pricing and all the usual business broadband accoutrements such as static IPs available on request, Plusnet Business is definitely worth a look. But how does it fare in 2021?

Domestic users rate Plusnet highly for its customer service, but business customers also look for reassuring levels of security, reliability, and a solid upload speed. Signing up for a business broadband account is a bigger decision than your average domestic customer faces – after all, getting it wrong could cost you dear. "We'll do you proud" says Plusnet - but will it?

Speed and packages

Plusnet offers multiple versions of its basic and fibre business packages. The most basic, Unlimited Business Broadband, comes with up to 17Mbps download speed on a 24-month contract. Plusnet offers additional packages with the same 17Mbps plus unlimited UK landline and mobile calls, and a third package which includes the same speed and UK calls plus 500 minutes of international calls. An unlimited version of the basic plan is also available on a 12-month contract at a slightly higher cost.

If you want more speed, Plusnet's Unlimited Business Fibre Broadband comes with a download speed of up to 76Mbps on a 24-month contract. Plusnet gives business customers the option to bundle unlimited UK calls or UK and 500 minutes of international calls with 24-month contracts. Again, there is an unlimited alternative that comes on a 12-month plan without the call plans. There's no middle speed option here as you typically find with operators using the Openreach network. No 38Mbps or 50Mbps deals – it's up to 17Mbps or 76Mbps. Fast or slow and that's your lot.

You get the Plusnet SafeGuard security package as standard with any Plusnet Business broadband deal, along with a dynamic IP address. However, you can also request a static IP once your account is created. This means that your IP address remains the same all the time and allows you to access your computer from anywhere in the world. You'll also get a free web address and email addresses.

Plusnet's business broadband packages are all competitively priced, although you'll need to watch out for a sharp price increase after the initial 12 months if you choose a 12-month contract.

Plusnet business calling packages and line rental

The cost of line rental is now included in all Plusnet Business broadband packages. Plusnet previously listed line rental charges separately, and has only been displaying them to business users since the end of 2017, when the company had its knuckles rapped by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) for misleading customers by leaving line rental charges off its advertisements.

Two different options are available for calling plans, and either can be bundled with Unlimited Business Broadband or Unlimited Business FibreBroadband. The first includes free calls to UK landlines and UK mobiles at any time. The next comes with the same, plus 500 minutes to US and Canadian mobiles and landlines in 35 countries.

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Is Plusnet business broadband fast enough for your needs?

So will these packages be fast enough? Well, it depends, of course, on the type of business. A small retail outlet, for example, probably won't use its broadband all that much, beyond sending emails and processing card payments. An office-based business with several staff, though, will really need a fibre connection; and depending on the number of people using it, unlimited downloads are likely to be a necessity.

As always, it's important to remember that advertised speeds generally aren't the same as those you actually get, particularly at peak times. However, Plusnet will advise you on likely actual speeds if you give the company your postcode.

Plusnet business broadband upload speeds

Upload speeds can matter more for business customers than domestic consumers: the ability to get bulk files out to suppliers or customers is essential. Plusnet says its basic broadband services have an upload speed of up to 1Mbps, while the fibre deals offer up to 19Mbps. Both compare well with the competition, though if you’re going to upload files regularly for business purposes, you’d be better off with a fibre package.

Installation

Once your service is ready, Plusnet will let you know. Installation is very straightforward, it says, and there are step-by-step guides to help. In some cases, such as if you don't already have a phone line, or if you're switching over from a cable service, you may need an engineer to install a new line.

Plusnet will let you know if this is the case and arrange an appointment for a time that suits you. An engineer may also need to carry out work at the telephone exchange and green cabinet – and, be warned, you may lose phone service while this is done.

Switching providers should take between 10 and 12 days. As with most providers, you'll see your speeds vary over the first ten days while the system establishes the best combination of stability and speed for your service.

Router

To get going, you'll need an active Plusnet or other BT compatible landline and one microfilter per active phone socket. While you can use your own router, it makes sense to take Plusnet's, which is free to business customers.

When the ASA ticked off Plusnet for not specifying line rental charges in its ads, it also ordered the company to make its £4.99 delivery charge clearer, which it now duly does.

Reliability

The Plusnet Unlimited broadband network is designed to provide enough capacity for all business and residential customers, so you'll generally be able to receive the fastest possible speed your line will allow. There are no traffic management policies in place, which means Plusnet doesn't limit your line speed, usage or downloads at peak periods.

As part of the BT group, Plusnet offers flexibility in terms of reconfiguration, expanding capacity and and fixing problems with its network. According to Ofcom, Plusnet broadband customers are less likely than broadband customers overall to have reason to complain about the quality of their service, with only 8% having done so.

Customer service

In its latest report, regulator Ofcom found that the company's broadband customers were more likely to complain than the average, with 69 complaints per 100,000 subscribers compared to an average of 50, though this has decreased substantially from previous years. The most common issues highlighted were complaint resolution and missed appointments.

Plusnet’s domestic landline and broadband customers waited an average of 4 minutes and 52 seconds to have their calls answered-not bad, compared to the industry average of 4 minutes and 9 seconds, but well behind just 1 minute and 33 seconds for the best performer, EE.

There aren't any specific figures for business customers, unfortunately, but you do get support 365 days a year, 24 hours a day from a specialist business team, and Plusnet claims that business calls are always answered promptly.

Refreshingly, the company also claims that you'll be able to speak to the same person throughout the process of resolving your problem. You can contact Plusnet via an 0800 number or online, and there's also a thriving community business forum.

Conclusion

Despite some hiccups over the last few years, Plusnet still offers excellent customer service if you're prepared to wait a bit longer to get through, which is one of the biggest priorities for most business customers. Its traffic management system maximises performance for customers on its bottom-end plan, and its network is generally very reliable, while prices are comparatively low. We'd say Plusnet Business is an excellent option, especially for smaller businesses.

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