BT has launched a new broadband package for its small-business customers.
The package, BT Business Total Broadband, incorporates some of the communications provider's recent offerings. The rapidly evolving company has been increasingly positioning itself as a general IT provider of late, deliberately shedding its traditional image as a pure telecommunications incumbent.
One example is BT Workspace, a Microsoft Sharepoint-based online sharing facility for SMEs and particularly homeworkers. A "lite" version is now included in the business broadband package, although non-BT subscribers can also download it from their website.
Other features within BT Business Total Broadband include 250 Openzone minutes per month, reflecting the ongoing rollout of BT's wireless hotspot programme across major UK city centres. Subscribers will also receive a second, VoIP-based phone line which they can use to make calls at discounted rates.
A dedicated telephone helpdesk is available to users, as well as access to BT's Business One Plan service — which is a one-stop shop for BT's telephony, broadband and IT support services. According to Chris Lindsay, general manager for broadband at BT Business, these features will offer subscribers "10 different solutions to get your business back up and running" if there is a communications failure.
BT has also beefed up its security offerings, which now include personal antivirus and firewall capabilities for each subscribed user, with anti-phishing and anti-popup options available on upgrade. In line with its new role as an IT support customer, BT says it will switch security software packages as needed behind the scenes to counteract threats as they arise.
Asked if BT felt threatened by the security capabilities included with Windows Vista, Lindsay suggested that Microsoft's "brand image" might count against it when it comes to users trusting it as a security provider, and pointed out that "there are a lot of PCs out there that will never run Vista" due to the hardware specifications required by the operating system.