BT offers business broadband with superfast fibre, a choice of Essential & Halo for business plans and a digital phone line.
In the UK, BT offers superfast fibre broadband for business with plans starting from £24.95/month including a digital phone line. You can get download speeds of up to 76Mbps on their superfast service with an inclusive BT Business Smart Hub, a minimum broadband speed guarantee and access to BT Wi-Fi hotspots. You’ll also get a digital phone line with the ability to make and receive calls on your phone number wherever you are.
You’re currently able to choose between an ‘essential’ and a ‘Halo for Business’ broadband plan. Customers choosing the Halo for business broadband plan will also benefit from the 4G Assure broadband backup service, business IT support and a static IP address. In some areas, it may also be possible to choose an ultrafast plan with download speeds of up to 314Mbps.
In this article, we’ll review the BT Business service. We’ll start by looking at BT’s business broadband plans and some of the features that are available on it like the BT Business Smart Hub and the digital phone line. We’ll then compare BT’s Essential and Halo for Business broadband plans, looking at the extra features you’ll get when choosing a Halo plan.
BT Business Superfast Plans
In the UK, BT currently offers superfast business broadband from £24.95/month on a 24-month contract. You can choose between an ‘essential’ or ‘Halo for business’ broadband plan, depending on whether you’d like the extra features like 4G Assure, IT support and a static IP:
|BT Business Plan||Broadband Speed||Contract Length||Upfront Price||Monthly Price|
with Digital Phone Line
|Up to 76Mbps download
Up to 19Mbps upload
|24 month contract||£9.95||£24.95/month|
Halo for Business 1 Superfast
with Digital Phone Line
|Up to 76Mbps download
Up to 19Mbps upload
|24 month contract||£9.95||£33.95/month|
In some areas, you may also be able to get a ‘ultrafast’ broadband plan with download speeds of up to 314Mbps. This will be available if your address has been enabled for BT’s G.fast or full fibre service.
BT Business Features & Benefits
There are several key features of BT’s business broadband service. For instance, all customers will now receive a BT Business Smart Hub and a minimum guaranteed download speed. You’ll also get a digital phone line included with the ability to make and receive phone calls on-the-go and with automatic voicemail transcription. Finally, there’s access to more than 5 million BT Wi-Fi hotspots and an optional Guest Wi-Fi service you can switch on.
Business Smart Hub Router
You’ll get the BT Business Smart Hub included as standard on all new BT Business plans. This is designed to give you a far-reaching wi-fi signal. It supports dual-band Wi-Fi 5 technology (802.11a/b/g/n/ac) with 7 different Wi-Fi antenna and with BT’s Smart Scan technology to optimise your Wi-Fi signal.
The BT Business Smart Hub also has 4 Gigabit Ethernet sockets for connecting wired devices to your network and a built-in firewall for security. There’s also traffic prioritisation for voice calls and support for the latest IPv6 technology.
Broadband Speed Guarantee
All of BT’s business broadband plans come with a speed guarantee. When you check the availability of broadband at your address, BT will quote you their expected download speed, their expected upload speed and a minimum guaranteed speed.
If the speed of your broadband connection drops below the minimum guaranteed speed, you may be able to exit your contract without penalty if BT are unable to resolve the problem for you.
You can check your minimum guaranteed speed by entering your address on the BT Business website.
Digital Phone Line
Most BT Business plans now include a digital phone line. This uses BT’s Cloud Voice Express technology. Your digital phone line is delivered over the fibre broadband connection using voice-over-IP (VoIP) technology instead of a traditional copper line.
The benefit of having a digital phone line is that your telephone service lives in the cloud. This gives you much more functionality and flexibility. You can use it as a normal phone line when you’re on-site at your premises and BT will give you a new cordless phone and base station (the W56H and W60B).
When you’re out and about, you can continue to make and receive calls on your normal business phone number using BT’s Cloud Voice Express application. This means you can stay connected to your customers and colleagues wherever you are (e.g. whilst working from home).
In addition, the service comes with a built-in nuisance call filter, voicemail with automatic transcription and an online portal for managing the digital phone line service. You can transfer your existing phone number to the service when signing up to it.
Some BT Business plans may not have a digital phone line included. If so, you’ll get a traditional phone line instead (sometimes also called a ‘value line’ on the BT website).
Free BT Wi-Fi
As a BT Business broadband customer, you’ll get unlimited access to BT Wi-Fi hotspots (previously known as BT Openzone).
There are currently more than 5 million BT Wi-Fi hotspots across the UK making it one of the most extensive nationwide wi-fi network providers. You can find a BT Wi-Fi hotspot in many locations including shopping centres, train stations, cafés, restaurants and more. Enter your postcode on the BT Wi-Fi website to find nearby BT Wi-Fi hotspots.
A typical standalone subscription to BT Wi-Fi will normally cost you £15/month on a 12 month contract.
If your customers or clients visit your business premises, you can offer them free wi-fi through the Guest Wi-Fi feature on your BT Business Smart Hub.
This creates a separate wi-fi network that your guests are able to access on their own device. The guest wi-fi network is kept separate from your own business wi-fi network, meaning your own devices are kept secure and separate. The guest network is also set up to automatically block illegal and malicious content, with 80% of the bandwidth being reserved for your own network so guests won’t be able to slow down your connection.
The Guest Wi-Fi feature allows up to 13 customers to access free wi-fi at the same time on your premises.
Essential VS Halo For Business Broadband Plans
BT offers two types of business broadband plan: Essential and Halo for Business. If you choose an Halo for Business plan, you’ll have access to another three key benefits: the 4G Assure broadband backup service, business IT support and a static IP address.
With 4G Assure, your BT business broadband service will automatically switch to a 4G-based connection if there’s a fault with your fibre broadband connection. This will happen automatically within 30 seconds of a fault being detected on your fibre broadband service.
The benefit of 4G Assure is it makes your business broadband more resilient. The switchover to a 4G connection happens at the Hub and is transparent so you may not even notice when the service switches over. Everything continues to work as normal after the switch to 4G including your regular Wi-Fi network, your digital phone line and your static IP address. The only sign that your broadband service has switched over to 4G may be the light on your BT Business Smart Hub changing from blue to purple.
4G Assure is very different from other 4G-based mobile broadband services. This is because you won’t need to switchover manually to 4G. In addition, you can continue using your regular Wi-Fi network and your IP address doesn’t change when you switch to 4G.
Business IT Support
You’ll get business IT support included with a Halo for Business broadband plan. This gives you round-the-clock access to an IT support team who can help with things like virus removal, software updates, networking issues and more. The support service is offered remotely by phone and remote desktop.
Static IP Address
You’ll get a static IP address when choosing Halo for Business on BT Business. This is important for lots of services such as running your own server (e.g. setting up a web server, an email server, VPN or FTP). It may also be required for security and to enable remote access on things like your CCTV system.
You’ll get 1 static IP address included with Halo for Business broadband. If you need further IP addresses, you can pay an extra £11/month for 5 static IPs.
For more information about the BT Business plans and features, please see BT’s official website for businesses.