What is Broadband Line Rental?

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A guide to broadband line rental

Almost every business across the UK needs access to fast and reliable broadband, with companies of all sizes looking for the best deal for their broadband line rental. Whether you are a small sole trader or a large multisite enterprise, your broadband connection will have a significant impact on your efficiency and profitability. To help you find the best deal, we have compiled this useful guide to business broadband line rental.

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What is broadband line rental?

There are many types of internet connection types, including those which use your phone line to connect to the internet. Even fibre connections will use your copper phone line for the last part of the connection network, despite being a modern, ultra-fast service.

BT Openreach is a subsidy of BT, which owns the telephone infrastructure here in the UK. This means that if your broadband provider uses the BT infrastructure they will be charged by BT Openreach, a cost which is in turn passed onto your business in the form of a charge for line rental.

Even if your business does not use a landline, you will still need to pay the land line charge if your internet connection relies upon the telephone infrastructure. This fee is used to maintain the copper lines which run between the roadside cabinets and your premises.  If there are any faults within the copper line network, the line rental you pay is used to cover the repair.

There are some providers which do not charge line rental as part of your broadband package, such as Virgin Media, which have their own cable network which does not rely upon the BT telephone network. Alternatively, there are providers of mobile and satellite broadband, which are often popular with premises situated in more rural areas where fast broadband connections are not available.

How does line rental affect my broadband package?

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that from 31 October 2018. Broadband providers must ensure broadband line rental costs are much clearer. Instead of listing separate prices for broadband and line rental, today providers must show the total cost. This means that the majority of packages you find will include the line rental element, unless you are signing up to a provider which uses a separate network, such as Virgin Media, mobile broadband or satellite broadband.

If you are familiar with seeing broadband prices excluding the line rental charge, it may initially appear as if the cost has increased. However, the costs have simply been combined, so instead of being charged separately for broadband and line rental, you will be shown the total cost with the overall price remaining the same.

The actual cost of line rental will vary between suppliers, although you can expect to pay between £12 and £20. When you pay your bill, the line rental cost will be included as a set amount each month. If you are looking for further savings it is worth investigating the line rental saver option, which some providers offer. This means you will pay for your line rental for the full year upfront, in exchange for a lower charge overall.

What is the difference between residential and business broadband?

Business broadband offers a variety of exclusive benefits, which are designed to provide your business with a reliable, fast, and secure connection.

For example, you will receive faster customer service response times, with many providers offering service level agreements which guarantee fault fixing times. You will also benefit from faster speeds, thanks to a variety of line options which reduce the load on the line by allowing fewer people to use the connection at any one time.

For customers which pay line rental for use of a business phone, you will be provided with the hardware and technology required to run larger phone systems. Depending on the type of phone package you require, your broadband package may also support phone calls made via the internet.

The basic ADSL broadband packages use the landline phone connection, with many smaller businesses finding that these connection types are fast and reliable enough. However, many businesses choose fibre connections which are much faster, although these are not as widely available as ADSL lines across the UK.

When you compare broadband options for your business, the line rental charge is an aspect which you should consider. There are many individual factors which you need to consider when deciding which is the best option for your business, including contract length, speeds available and the monthly broadband cost including line rental.

We understand that this can be confusing and time-consuming, so our team can help you quickly compare the best deals available for your business broadband service based on your exact requirements. To find out more about the deals available, please contact our experienced team today.

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