More and more businesses are turning to the Internet to do business, and this makes sense considering how much people are spending online. For the 2009 Christmas just gone, the Centre for Retail Research forecast retail sales of £44,700m in the UK and 20% of that done via the Internet.

If you run a business and want to get online, which is very different to selling online, the easiest way is through an ADSL broadband service. This is a simple to use Internet service that can cost from nearly nothing to more than £100 per month if you want bells and whistles.

What business owners don’t realise when buying a broadband service, is that there is no guaranteed fix time if something serious breaks. It is nearly always taken for granted that your broadband will always work, 24 hours a day, rain or shine.

Broadband does go offline and although most issues can be sorted quickly, it is sometimes more serious and needs intervention from BT Openreach. When this happens, any guaranteed fix times are immediately out of the window, irrespective of what your broadband provider has promised.

There are different options for mitigating the risk of your broadband going offline; suitability is determined by different factors including the nature of the broadband issue, how your business operates and where your business is based.

If you are based in area maintained by the Cable operators, then you have the option of a second broadband connection with them. You could also subscribe to ADSL broadband with a second supplier, or look at mobile broadband if you have decent enough reception.

Hosting your servers and business data away from your business premises (in the cloud) gives you the freedom to work from anywhere. If the broadband at your offices goes down or you can’t get to the office, just work from home.

Bigger businesses or those totally dependent on the Internet also have alternative options for broadband, like leased line. It costs a premium to run a leased line, but they do have guaranteed fix times with compensation if service is unavailable.

Several of our own clients rely upon the Internet on a day to day basis and have provisions in place for their broadband going offline using varying techniques. If your business can run without a connection to the Internet, then you probably won’t benefit from giving us a call to find out what options are available.

Our number is 0845 004 3025, just in case.