BT beefs up broadband speeds for small businesses on copper lines

Telco targets small firms with technology claimed to be able to double download speeds and make upload speeds 10 times faster, on average, on slower copper broadband connections, as well as a low-frills fibre package

BT has launched a new product to boost fixed broadband speeds for networks yet to be upgraded to fibre broadband.

The launch of its Hybrid Speed Boost product sees BT deliver on the first commitment in its recently announced Enterprise Customer Charter through which the telco has committed to launch the first UK service that fuses fixed and 4G speeds together, to uplift broadband speeds for thousands of small firms currently using copper lines and develop inclusive technology to help small businesses that are struggling on slower, copper lines.

BT said its Hybrid Speed Boost product is the first in the UK to combine a copper broadband line with BT’s EE 4G mobile network to provide an automatic uplift in speeds, by bonding connections from broadband and mobile networks together.

By doing so, BT said businesses can benefit from an average download speed boost of 20Mbps – more than twice the average download speed for copper broadband connections. Average upload speeds can be uplifted to 10Mbps, which BT says is 10 times the average upload speed for copper lines.

BT’s Enterprise business is launching the product as an interim solution for small firms in parts of the country that are yet to be upgraded to fibre broadband, as BT Group continues to extend its full-fibre network across the country.

BT Group aims to reach 25 million homes and businesses with full fibre by the end of 2026, working with its infrastructure partner, Openreach, which has already brought the technology to 7.2 million premises. Openreach is currently building full fibre to about 50,000 premises a week and claims to be on target to reach 10 million premises by the end of March 2023.

“Using cutting-edge technology, we’re launching the first product in the UK to fuse fixed and mobile connections together to bring faster speeds to small firms which might be struggling on slower copper lines,” said Chris Sims, MD for BT’s Single/Small Office Home Office unit.

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“While the Openreach full-fibre network is expanding at pace, week on week, we understand the frustration of small firms that risk being stuck behind as they wait to hear when ultrafast full-fibre broadband will come to them. Fast, reliable broadband is vital for the smooth, day-to-day running of a business, so we have taken action today to boost speeds for business taking copper broadband – at no extra cost.

“Hybrid Speed Boost could revolutionise operations for small businesses that may currently be struggling with the required bandwidth to process large files, access cloud services or use HD video.”

An early adopter of Hybrid Speed Boost is London-based events and catering firm Eat Me Events. “I am really impressed at the speeds we’re now getting using the new Hybrid Speed Boost solution,” said director Benjy Levey. “On average, we’re now getting 30-40Mbps download speeds and 14-15Mbps upload. The uplift in speed is transformative for our business for when we’re meeting with clients and suppliers via video calls. There is no more buffering or dropped connections. Customer data downloads have got so much quicker too.”

As it was launching Hybrid Speed Boost, BT also introduced what it called a “no-frills” fibre broadband package for cost-conscious small firms in fibre-enabled areas. Fibre 38 is a landline free fibre broadband package that uses fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology and offers BT’s lowest prices for fibre-based business broadband.

BT’s Fibre 38 package delivers guaranteed minimum speeds of up to 38Mbps, unlimited data and built-in, business-grade security tools – all without the need for businesses to add a phone line.

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