Just last month I wrote about how SMBs were getting more broadband options, thanks largely to competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) and Multiple-system operators (MSOs) eager to tap into the lucrative market.
But the providers rolling out these SMB-friendly offerings may have a hard time getting current broadband users to switch, based on results of a survey sponsored by UK ISP Easynet Connect. According to an ITPro story about the survey, although 77 percent of respondents had experienced an Internet connection failure and 29 percent said their Internet connection doesn't always meet expected performance levels, 88 percent said they had no plans to change providers in the near future.
The problem may be too many broadband offerings rather than not enough, says Rob Bamforth, an analyst for Quocirca, the company that conducted the research. SMBs "inevitably lack the specialist knowledge and time to deal with the complexities of the numerous options available," he says.
SMBs should look beyond speed and cost, the primary differentiators for consumer-oriented broadband products, says Bamforth. He urges SMBs to work closely with providers that understand their specific business needs rather than simply signing on for a consumer solution.
According to a survey released in late 2007, SMBs rate reliability, service and value ahead of price in qualities they are seeking in a broadband provider.