It’s taken some time to arrive but superfast broadband is finally available to a good portion of UK homes via BT fibre optic lines (from a variety of ISPs including TalkTalk, Plusnet and Sky Fibre) or Virgin Media’s cable network.
These services provide a massive leap in speeds compared to creaky old ADSL, with packages available from 30Mb up to 120Mb. There’s a wealth of information already out there and consumer sites such as Broadband Genie have more information on the fastest providers and deals currently available.
Superfast broadband is a tempting upgrade for anyone working from home, but there is a higher charge involved. With the current state of the economy keeping control of your costs is more important than ever, so is it worth paying the extra? We think so, and here’s why.
Downloads in the blink of an eye
The most obvious advantage of a superfast broadband connection is that headline download speed. A 30 megabit fibre link translates to download speeds of 3.75 megabytes per second (remember, Mb and MB are different).
While you might not ever reach that top theoretical rate, a 30Mb connection can still put a DVD-size download of around 700Mb on your hard drive in under five minutes.
That’s a huge plus for certain industries; designers and programmers who often deal with huge files will no longer have to wait around for hours to get important data.
Upload speeds are often overlooked, but for home workers it’s an important consideration. It will speed up your file transfers and improve the performance of voice and video calling.
On ADSL, upload speeds are poor. You’re doing well to exceed 1Mb. But a superfast broadband connection can upload at much greater rates, with providers such as BT offering over 10Mb with their BT Infinity package.
With the fast download and upload speed of superfast broadband you can do a lot more than just browse the web and download files – it also opens up the possibility of operating your own servers.
These could be for your own use – for example an FTP file server or remote backup service – or you could offer simple web hosting to clients, with the hardware, software and connection entirely under your control rather than relying on third parties.
The only thing to check is that your ISP allows the service to be used in this way. In some cases it may be necessary to pay extra for a business connection or static IP addresses.