Broadband for Charities & SMEs – 4 Key Considerations

Broadband has become an essential requirement for charities, SMEs and pretty much any organisation. It’s used every single day for a wide variety of tasks and purposes, which is why it’s so important to have the right broadband for you.

So, how do you go about finding it? In this post, we’ll discuss four key considerations to find suitable broadband for your charity or SME.

1.  Type of broadband

The first consideration when it comes to broadband for charities or SMEs is which type you need. The initial search alone can leave your head spinning, with various types of broadband and no clear explanation of what they mean and who they’re for.

Thankfully, in our guide to the different types of broadband, we’ve provided some simple explanations of the main types and how they differ from one another. Here’s a brief summary:

  • ADSL – Standing for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, this refers to broadband that’s accessed through your copper-based phone landline. It can reach speeds up to 24mbps but typically gets slower the further you are from your telephone exchange
  • Fibre – As the name suggests, this type of broadband is provided through fibre optic cables. It’s typically faster than ADSL, with speeds of 30mbps and above.
  • Cable – Cable broadband is transferred by cables like those used for TV signals. It works in the same way as fibre optic but has the final part of the journey (the local fibre cabinet to your premises) made by cable.
  • Others – There are also some less common broadband types such as satellite, wireless and mobile, which have very specific applications. However, mobile broadband may become more prevalent in future when landlines become obsolete.

What about superfast and ultrafast?

Another distinction you’re likely to come across is between superfast and ultrafast broadband. In simple terms, these refer to two types of fibre broadband – fibre to the premises (FTTP) and fibre to the cabinet (FTTC).

FTTC is known as superfast broadband. After fibre is connected to a local cabinet, copper cables are used to connect the cabinet to your building. The result is broadband that’s faster than standard ADSL, with speeds of 30mbps or higher.

On the other hand, FTTP is known as ultrafast broadband. In this case, fibre optic cables are used for the entire journey for a better connection. With ultrafast FTTP broadband, you can reach speeds upwards of 300mbps, making it significantly faster than FTTC, although less readily available.

2.  Assessing your requirements

Once you’re familiar with the different types of broadband, it’s time to assess your requirements and decide on the best type for you. Some good questions to ask are:

How many users do you have?

The more people that are using your broadband, the more bandwidth you will need to support them. As a charity or small business, you may have fewer employees than large enterprises. That means you won’t need as much bandwidth, which could result in some cost savings for your broadband. But remember to factor in all the devices connected to your broadband, including phones, tablets and smart devices, as well as computers and laptops.

What are you using broadband for?

Broadband usage isn’t just a headcount or device count, for that matter. It also comes down to how you’re using those devices. One of the fundamentals of work for any office is email, which requires just 1mbps in terms of speed. The same is true for VoIP, with high-quality calls using just 1mbps. Video calls require a speed of 2mbps, while high-definition streaming requires upwards of 8mbps.

If you then multiply those requirements by the number of workers on-site, you can better understand how much your broadband will need to take on.

Where are you based?

Another unavoidable factor is where you’re based. Not all types of broadband are available across the UK. According to figures from U switch, ADSL broadband is available to 99% of the country. In comparison, superfast is available to approximately 95% of premises.

Cable is less readily available, with 52% national coverage. Finally, full fibre (FTTP) ultrafast broadband is available to just over one in five sites. Generally speaking, the more rurally you’re based, the less choice you will have when it comes to the types of broadband available.

3.  Choosing a provider

Getting the right type of broadband with a suitable speed and bandwidth will tick a big box when it comes to your internet connectivity. But it’s also important to have the best service and the proper support to go with it.

Ideally, you want a provider that specialises in broadband solutions for organisations like yours. For one, this will make them best placed to advise on the right solution for you. If a provider is used to helping global enterprises, they’re likely to recommend unnecessarily expensive solutions.

But it also means they understand the challenges that charities or small businesses encounter day to day, week to week and even year to year – from the type of work you do to the cost restraints you’re facing.

4.  Factoring in costs

That brings us to the final consideration. All of the above needs to be balanced with cost. It’s no use deciding on the fastest, most comprehensive broadband package if you’re working to a tight budget.

Again, this is an area where a specialist provider can help. Working with you and your team, we can recommend a tailored solution that ticks every one of your boxes without breaking the bank.

Why reliable broadband is critical for charities

Now you know more about the different broadband options available, let’s take a closer look at why a fast and reliable service is critical for charities. Whether you’re a small, community-based group or nationally recognised entity like the RSPCA, a robust broadband connection is the backbone of any charity.

From effective communication with patrons to streamlined internal operations, broadband for charities can have a direct impact on your ability to achieve your mission. Here’s why steadfast broadband is a worthwhile investment for any charity:

1.    Seamless communication

Charities often operate in a distributed and dynamic environment, with team members, volunteers and stakeholders spread across different locations. Fast and reliable broadband ensures seamless communication through emails, voice calls, video conferencing and collaboration platforms. This connectivity supports real-time communication and allows teams to stay connected, share updates and coordinate efforts regardless of geographic location.

2.    Efficient fundraising

For most charities, fundraising is a lifeline used to sustain operations and support their causes. Along with traditional methods like doorknocking and street drives, a strong online presence is essential for successful fundraising campaigns. Fast broadband for charities allows you to create engaging online content, run interactive virtual events and maintain responsive donation platforms. This enhances the overall donor experience, encourages contributions and helps charities achieve ambitious fundraising goals.

3.    Access to resources and training

Charities often rely on online resources and training materials to educate their teams, volunteers and beneficiaries. Fast broadband ensures quick access to educational content, webinars and training modules. This is particularly vital for charities working on causes that require specialised knowledge or skills.

4.    Data security and compliance

Charities deal with sensitive donor information and must meet strict data security and compliance standards. Fast and reliable broadband for charities supports secure data transmission, encrypted communication and the implementation of robust cybersecurity measures. As well as complying with data protection regulations, this helps charities build trust-based relationships with their all-important donors.

5.    Remote work flexibility

The ability to work remotely has become increasingly important to employees and charities are no exception. Fast broadband allows team members to work from different locations without compromising productivity. Whether it’s responding to urgent emails, accessing shared documents or participating in virtual meetings, reliable internet connectivity ensures that remote employees can excel.

6.    Effective outreach and advocacy

Charities rely on their online presence to reach a broader audience, advocate for their causes and raise awareness. Fast broadband supports the creation and distribution of impactful content, including videos, graphics and social media campaigns. In turn, this enhances the charity’s visibility, engages supporters and amplifies advocacy efforts.

7.    Time and cost savings

Unreliable broadband for charities can lead to website downtime, increased wait times for calls and operational inefficiencies. All can have a serious impact on revenue, which is usually a major priority for cash-conscious charities.

Fast broadband minimises these disruptions and saves valuable time for charity staff and volunteers. This translates into cost savings and allows charities to allocate resources more effectively towards their core mission. Reliable broadband also streamlined the patron experience and makes the donor experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.

Broadband services for charities and SMEs

VS Group is a specialist provider of broadband for charities and small businesses. Whether you’ve settled on your broadband requirements or you’re just looking for the right type of broadband for your organisation, we’re on hand to provide honest, helpful advice and reliable, top-rate services.

To find out more, contact a member of our team on 0330 0940 170 or email info@vsgcomms.com.

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