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Business needs more broadband know-how

High-speed wireless service provider Tele2 warns that many firms simply don't realise how valuable a broadband connection would be
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

Tele2, the wireless broadband Internet service provider, believes that much more has to be done to teach Britain's businesses about the benefits of a high-speed connection to the Web.

Although prices are still high, Tele2 believes that a lack of awareness is also responsible for the slow take-up of broadband in the UK.

Elliott Mueller, Tele2's chief executive, told ZDNet UK News that his company is trying to educate potential customers. Tele2 operates in urban areas such as Reading, Guildford, Crystal Palace and Uxbridge, and is looking to expand into Birmingham in the coming weeks. The company was founded in January 1998, and has been expanding its service area recently with the addition of new mobile masts.

"The awareness is not out there yet. Businesses need to be shown the benefits of broadband in order to get them to upgrade," Mueller said. "This is one reason why broadband take-up has been slow."

Tele2 is already addressing this issue. "We're launching a seminar programme, in which we involve regional resellers or companies that offer complementary products," explained Mueller.

By doing this, Tele2 hope to persuade companies that it is worth paying for one of its packages.

BT is also attempting to educate the public about the benefits of broadband. It has committed several millions of pounds to a scheme under where BT will subsidise broadband adverts placed by the ISPs that resell its broadband ADSL product. ADSL is a technology for turning ordinary phone lines into high-speed, always-on data connections.

Tele2's Small Business Upgrade package starts at £94.99 +VAT per month, for features such as upload and download speeds of 64 kilobits per second (kbps) and burstable speeds up to 512kbps, a fixed IP address and a 15:1 contention ratio.

Users can also customise their packages. "A company can call up and ask to have the standard small business package, but with a download speed of up to 1mbps, for example," explained Mueller.

Mueller also told ZDNet UK News that Tele2 would be happy if BT were to substantially cut the price of its wholesale broadband package, even though this would help Tele2's competitors. Such a cut, Mueller believes, would benefit every broadband provider because it would help the market to grow.

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