Broadband has changed the way we do business and having as fast a connection as possible is vital if you're to stay competitive. As the old saying goes, 'Time is money' – and in this fast moving digital age having a super-fast internet connection can save you both! 

High-speed broadband is increasingly becoming a hot topic in the UK. Recent figures, from broadband analyst firm Point Topic, show that in April 2011 there were over 250,000 lines with speeds in excess of 25Mbps in operation. This figure is only set to grow, and quickly, as services roll out nationally and prices start to fall. 

The benefits of high-speed broadband are simple, as it means you can share large files quicker, stay in touch with staff easier, move your phone system over to high-quality internet telephony services and run video conferencing from multiple rooms without degrading the images quality.  

If you're looking to make the most of high-speed broadband you should be looking at a connection of up to 20Mbps. High-speed broadband is being improved all the time, with most ISPs now promising download rates of at least 10Mbps even on basic packages. However, there are factors that will affect this speed.  

Exchange Upgrades
The exchange in your area will need to have been updated to take advantage of the latest ADSL2+ standard, so that high-speed broadband can be passed through the exchange.

Distance from Exchange
As with your current broadband solution, high-speed connections can be affected by how close or how far your office is from the local exchange.

Shared Line
Your internet connection from the exchange to your office isn't shared by only you but also by other users in the local area. Most domestic users will find they're on a 50:1 line, whereby your simply one user amongst 50 sharing the same wiring. Business accounts tend to run on a ratio of 20:1 but it's worth checking with your provider.

Fibre Optics
This technology is currently the most expensive but offers the most reliable service in terms of speed and constant 'Up' speeds. With 40Mbps being offered in most urban areas heavy data users should check out this solution. Check out if it's available in your area from BT

If you want to find out whether high-speed broadband is available in our area, and which speeds you can expect, then it's worth checking out Broadband Speed Checker. This site not only shows you the speeds available in the UK but also the slow spots, so areas where connectivity is less than ideal – a great idea if you're thinking of moving or expanding.