Businesses have been warned to check the quality and availability of broadband connections before agreeing new office deals.
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Experts from telecoms specialists telephonesystems.cloud have warned firms to verify claimed broadband speeds before signing contracts for new premises.
Many companies are currently assessing their office needs in the wake of the pandemic with many opting for smaller accommodation and remote teams.
And whilst cloud VoIP phones are great for flexible working, they will only function with a strong Internet connection.
Some managers are reporting frustrations after signing lengthy tenancy deals only to discover broadband connections are not fit for purpose.
The experts believe many office developments offer connectivity which can be inferior to some home networks, or even worse, there turns out to be no working broadband whatsoever.
Because of this, companies are finding their teams are actually less connected to each other and to clients than they were when working from home.
If they have already signed on for a lengthy tenancy of several years they can then find it difficult to withdraw from the deal and may have to shoulder the cost burden of paying for improved connectivity to stay in business.
Now experts are urging all prospective new office tenants to carry out their own broadband tests by using online checkers - rather than relying on information provided by the vendor or agent.
Juliet Moran, technical director at telephonesystems.cloud said checking connectivity was the responsibility of the prospective tenant not the office owners or their agents.
She said: “We have heard horror stories of clients signing up for ten year tenancy deals on the basis of a stated broadband speed, which is often heavily overstated with no availability for new connections.
“In an age where we all use cloud technology in our everyday lives - such as emails, work resources and VoIP phones, the lack of broadband connectivity can seriously impact businesses; forcing some companies to either move out, or spend hundreds of pounds each month for a leased line to be installed.
“Whilst some cloud services are able to run on 5G, this isn’t particularly stable or reliable, so companies are facing bills of over £300 a month just to have working internet at their chosen location.
“What many fail to realise is that it is the tenant’s responsibility to check the broadband speed, not the agent’s. Often the claimed speed in the rental details will just be an average for the area or it could be what previously available in the area, but the location no longer has capacity.
“Fortunately it’s quick and easy to check what the speed and quality of connection is actually like. Using simple online checkers allows you to see the live capacity of your chosen location before signing the lease agreement - ensuring you know what’s available in the building on the OpenReach network.
“If nothing is available, you can also check if there are any dedicated fibre providers in the area, such as City Link, Virgin or Lila, as they may have laid specific cable to the location.”
She added that record numbers of large companies are currently reassessing their accommodation needs and downsizing to smaller units.
She said: “There’s a trend away from huge offices and into smaller hubs with teams spending some days in office and some working from home. “
“It’s such a shame because businesses are blundering their way into deals to take on expensive office space which isn’t suitable. That’s why we are urging everyone considering a change in office accommodation to carry out some simple broadband checks before they sign on the dotted line.”
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