What is Superfast Broadband?

BDUK has defined Superfast Broadband as having a potential headline access speed of at least 20Mbps (megabits per second), with no upper limit.

Superfast Broadband connections enable users to browse the internet, download music and video, file share and stream television at speeds higher than most internet users. Click here to view the benefits to businesses.

While the current average UK broadband connection is around 8/9Mbps (2012), Superfast Broadband products deliver speeds of up to 100Mbps, usually through sophisticated fibre-optic broadband supplier networks fibre optic cables.

How does Superfast Broadband work?

Fibre optic cables offer faster, more reliable broadband speeds, and with more and more providers entering the superfast market, the cost of upgrading to fibre is falling. Before fibre optic broadband, your only broadband option was an ADSL copper wire line, which works by using telephone lines to deliver information across the internet. Fibre optic broadband promises to eliminate many of the problems of the copper wire line and offer hassle-free Superfast broadband connections.

With fibre optic broadband, light signals are delivered through fibre optic cables, made of glass rather than copper wire. Information travels along these cables almost instantaneously, and there’s very little deterioration in your download speed – even over long distances. As a result, the speeds you get will be much closer to the headline speed you sign up for. This means businesses can benefit from much faster connections.

What are ‘White Areas’?

A ‘white area’ is an area with poor broadband provision which is eligible for State support to receive quality broadband.

Is there anything I can do to make my internet faster?

We have a few top tips to make your internet go faster, click here to read them.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing offers businesses a way of managing their data, hardware and software requirements online. Documents, emails, customer information, business applications and other assets can all be stored externally – ‘in the cloud’.

You can use cloud computing as a stand-alone solution or in addition to your existing IT infrastructure. It can help you:

  • Reduce hardware and software costs
  • Support more flexible working practices
  • Make it easier to scale your IT systems
  • Offer reliable and secure back-up for data
  • Access the latest technology

Cloud computing applications useful to small businesses include:

  • Sales tools
  • Office software
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software
  • Human resources software
  • Payroll software
  • Collaborative working tools

What is Collaboration?

Superfast Broadband can make online based collaboration a reality. Collaboration tools can replace face-to-face meetings, allowing you to work with a team in another office, another company, or even another time zone. And they are just as useful to help you stay on top of projects that involve people in the same office, because they bring together the information and resources you need to run your business on a daily basis.

The range of available tools and technologies is vast, including;

  • Instant messaging
  • Discussion forums
  • Audio, video and web conferencingCollaborative whiteboard and presentation systems
  • Group diaries and address books
  • Hosted virtual offices

How can Superfast Broadband transform communications?

Superfast Broadband can transform business communications to staff, clients and suppliers. It facilities a number of communication solutions which can reduce cost, increase flexibility and enhance competitiveness. Some examples are given below:

VoIP (voice over internet protocol) is a technology that allows you to make telephone calls using an internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line.
VPNs (virtual private networks) allow off-site workers to access resources on remote networks, such as files, printers, databases, or internal websites
High quality voice and video conferencing are an effective means of delivering one-to-one, one-to-many or even many-to-many delegate meetings. Video conferencing software tools offer powerful, user-definable control over meetings’ scope and content. For example, share data, such as Powerpoint presentations, and undertake real-time editing that can be shared with others.
Faster transfer of data including uploading of files, images and videos means that it is easier for businesses to make the most of social media as a communications tool for customer engagement, marketing, research, product development and feedback.

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