80% Of British Businesses At Risk Of Internet Knock Out

80% of British small-to-medium sized businesses (SMB’s) say the internet is either important or critical to their business, but a third don’t actually know who provides their service, an independent survey of 1,000 UK SMBs has revealed.

The survey further reveals that over half (55.7%) of SMB owners and decision makers don’t know what their service level agreements are since they played no role in choosing their internet provider. This is all the more staggering when over a quarter (26%) of small businesses surveyed stated that they could stand to lose over £250k per year should they be left without internet connectivity.

The research shows that while the internet is crucial for the survival of UK SMBs and SOHOs, most do not know what do to in the event their internet connection goes down or even what service levels they are entitled to. Business owners and managers need be more actively involved in selecting their service providers to ensure that they protect their business from revenue loss.

Given the current economic climate SMBs can no longer afford to take a passive approach to business tools that are critical to their business.

Top five things that SMBs should know about their internet service:

1. Know your ISP – To ensure a swift resolution in the event of loss of connectivity, know who to call.
2. Service Level Agreements – Know what your internet service package guarantees you in terms of technical support and recovery of lost connectivity.
3. Business continuity – Consider a second connection through a different provider to improve the chance of continuous uptime.
4. Check you’re on the right package – use a comparison service with a postcode availability checker to find out what ISPs, speeds & packages are available in your area.
5. Be wary of using consumer packages for business purposes – some consumer packages don’t allow – or restrict – use for business purposes so ensure to check the small print! Also, business broadband packages are likely to have higher service level commitments, improved contention ratios and a range of other features which consumer packages may not offer.

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Simon Piper joined Consumerchoices in May 2009 as Head of Business Development & Partnerships. Prior to Consumerchoices, Simon spent two years based in New York, as Business Development Director for Scripps Networks Digital. He was part of the launch team for FrontDoor, a real-estate Website successfully launched in November 2007. Prior to his time in the US, Simon spent five years at uSwitch where he managed the home phone & digital TV comparison services. He moved to the sales team to run the partnership network and then took the opportunity to relocate to New York, spearheading the development of uSwitch in North America. Simon graduated from the School of Management at Southampton University in 2000, developing an interest in the Telecoms industry in his first position as a graduate, working as a financial analyst for KPNQwest.