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Everything You Need To Know About Business Broadband in Singapore 2021 Edition
If you have just set up your new business and are considering how to meet your internet needs, the first consideration would be whether to sign up for a business broadband plan. Business broadband and home broadband have similarities, but broadband for businesses usually has some features that make it more suited to business customers.
However, these features also do come with extra costs and towkays should consider which features they need and whether they can afford them.
Here we take a look at what some of these features are.
24/7 technical support
Business broadband providers tend to offer enhanced customer support, which is something businesses may prioritise because if a company's broadband connection goes down, it can derail their entire business until it is fixed. This is particularly true if the company is a retail business which needs to accept card payments over a device that connects via WiFi. Technical support that is available 24/7 all year round would be invaluable for businesses.
In addition, while home broadband lines usually come with a dynamic IP address, business broadband either comes with a static IP by default or companies can pay a fee to add one.
The difference between a static IP and a dynamic one is simply that a static IP stays the same whereas a dynamic IP address changes every time a customer connects to the internet.
An IP address is a unique identifier online, and a static IP can enable businesses to:
Host their own server
Host their own website or domain name server
Remotely connect to computers
The more tech-savvy towkays will be able to find workarounds using dynamic IPs anyway if saving costs is a priority, but the provision of a static IP is still a convenient option to have.
Stronger broadband security
If internet security is important for home broadband customers, it is absolutely vital for business broadband customers. Small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) are often targeted in cyberattacks, and many of them are unable to survive if an attack is successful.
Businesses may be offered a business broadband plan that comes with business-focused security software that provides stringent protection from malware and malicious websites, data back-up or recovery services, and maybe even the use of a VPN.
Business broadband providers usually provide a network that is dedicated to business broadband customers, which is separate from the internet connectivity that is shared with consumers. Having an optimised-for-business network means that the contention ratio of a business's broadband connection (the number of properties sharing a line) isn't as big an issue as it is with residential properties, reducing the possibility of network congestion impeding the company’s digital operations.
Comes bundled with phone lines
Most businesses will require an office phone line anyway, so why not bundle it together with the business broadband? Office phone lines can come with their own enhanced features such as audio conferencing, voicemail-to-email, and enhanced international call plans.
What are the best business broadband plans in Singapore?
That is hard to tell, firstly because it depends largely on what your needs are since most internet service providers will offer many variations of business broadband plans (easily up to 10 per telco) with different features and add-ons.
In addition, while some telcos like Singtel, M1, and Starhub readily advertise their rates, other companies like Whizcomms and MyRepublic prefer customers to get in touch in order to get a quote.
There is also the possibility of negotiating a better price, or perhaps a customised plan that gives better value when your company contacts the telco and is assigned a business account manager.
Generally speaking, however, a 300Mbps broadband plan with no other frills will cost less than S$100 per month. A much faster 1Gbps plan will easily cost above S$200 per month, with the exception of ViewQwest who charges S$171 (other value-added services notwithstanding).
Dynamic IP Broadband Plans
Static IP Broadband Plans
Business owners will note that these rates are significantly higher than home broadband rates, even before most of the added features are tacked on. Unfortunately, that is the case in Singapore, not least because unless your business is operating from home, you will not be able to get a residential package for your business if your premises are located in a non-residential area even if you don’t require any of the value-added services that business broadband provides. This is simply a cost of doing business that must be contended with.
How to determine which business broadband plan is suitable?
Here are some of the factors to consider when choosing a business broadband plan:
How many employees does the business have and how much do they need to be online? Businesses relying more on their broadband connection for their everyday activities may need faster connections
What level of customer support and/or service guarantees does your business need?
How much security do you need your internet connection to have? If the standard protection features that come with the plan is insufficient, is there an option to improve it?
Is the supplied router good enough to manage the amount of traffic your business needs it to? Is your business premises going to be difficult to cover with WiFi?
Do you require a static IP?
How long is the broadband contract? Can your business commit to it?
Business broadband differs from residential broadband and you are forced to pay a higher premium for the former. However, business broadband does prioritise business internet traffic above regular uses and internet service providers are committed to keeping uptime as high as possible.
Business broadband plans can have different connection speeds, different levels of customer support, and many different features. Business owners will need to examine all these closely, and decide what matches their company’s needs before reaching out to the internet service providers to get a good price.
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