Identify the broadband service you need

What’s the right choice for your business?

What to consider when upgrading from ADSL to either fibre broadband or Ethernet

Types of broadband service

Until quite recently, internet access was mainly divided into two types. ADSL Broadband services were used by small businesses and home users, and larger businesses used the much more expensive private circuits. The new forms of broadband technology are changing that picture, and giving a much wider range of services. Not all services are available in all areas yet – and the aim of the Superfast Britain project is to make the services available throughout Newport, Monmouthshire, Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen.

There are four different types of broadband service you may want to consider:

Superfast broadband

New fibre based broadband services use a mixture of optical fibre and normal telephone lines and are becoming the standard form of high speed broadband for domestic users.

They give much higher download speeds than the old broadband services, and are ideal for downloading music, films, etc.

For many of the smallest businesses, superfast broadband services offer a low-cost option that is significantly better than normal ADSL broadband.

These services may not be available in all locations – in particular on business parks.

Business superfast broadband

Business superfast broadband offers a higher grade of superfast broadband specifically for business users.

Like ordinary ADSL broadband, superfast broadband usually has different upload and download speeds, and the connection is shared with several users (contended). These help to make high speed connections affordable.

Business superfast broadband services are a little more expensive than basic superfast broadband, but more suited to business needs for businesses that rely on their internet connection.

Ultrafast broadband

Ultrafast broadband is the newest development in broadband service for small and medium businesses, similar to business superfast broadband, but can be much faster.

It is ideal for digital and creative businesses needing to move very large files, or for other uses where very high speeds are needed occasionally throughout the day. Ultrafast broadband services are more expensive than the slower business superfast broadband services, but still contended, so relatively affordable for small businesses.

Leased lines

Until the development of superfast and ultrafast broadband, leased lines were really the only option for growing businesses to get a reliable internet connection.

They are available in a wide range of speeds, and give an uncontended bandwidth. Because they are uncontended, they will seem much faster than an equivalent ADSL or superfast broadband speed – because you’re not sharing with other users. Different technologies are available, though all are more expensive than superfast or ultrafast connections.

If your business needs constant high speed internet access at all times throughout the day, this may be your best option.

Basic facts

The different broadband services have a range of characteristics, features and technical specifications.

You may need to take further advice to find the best service for your business needs. Here are some basic facts and typical figures to start your selection:

Broadband service

Download speed

Upload speed

Contention ratio

Price per month


> 24 Mbps

5 – 20 Mbps



Business superfast

> 24 Mbps

5 – 50 Mbps


£30 - £300


> 100 Mbps

> 20 Mbps


£100 - £500

Leased line

2 Mbps – 10 Gbps

2 Mbps – 10 Gbps


£300 - £000s


If your business is eligible for the Superfast Britain project, then most types of broadband can be eligible – though the scheme is more suited to some types of service than others:

Broadband service



If basic superfast broadband services are available, and meet your needs, then they provide an affordable high speed connection. Connection costs may not be high enough to qualify for a voucher.

Business superfast

Although the monthly costs for business superfast and ultrafast broadband services are usually affordable for most small and medium businesses, they often have significant installation costs. The Superfast Britain voucher scheme can help to cover these installation costs and make these services affordable.


Leased line

Leased lines usually have high monthly service costs. As a result, installation can be low. The Superfast Britain voucher scheme can only cover the installation costs.