Over the past few months, our home broadband connections have been pushed to the limit. Lockdown has meant everyone’s at home virtually all day and is using broadband for work, school, gaming and streaming.
In response, BT has launched Dedicated Connection, a second broadband line which it says could be used for work. While fast broadband largely removed the need for the old-school ISDN lines, Dedicated Connection could make sense if you’re planning to work from home a lot more even when lockdown lifts.
The package is available to everyone, even if your existing broadband isn’t supplied by BT. It offers download speeds up to 80Mbps and comes with BT’s Smart Hub 2 router the Home Halo 2 service, which will see a 4G router arrive the next day (in most cases) if you experience problems with the broadband connection.
BT says that the Dedicated Connection line won't necessarily go down if your first broadband connection drops out. It really depends on the issue. A spokesperson for BT told us: "If the first connection line is from another provider who is having issues, then the BT line should not have a problem. If both lines are from BT, then depending on the nature of the problem the second line could also be impacted. If there is a general problem in the area that affects all broadband connections, then it is likely that both lines won’t operate effectively."
If you live in household where you can’t guarantee you’ll have enough bandwidth for those important Zoom meetings, a second line offers that reassurance that it doesn’t matter what everyone else is up to: your connection is dedicated to you.
It’s worth remembering that video calls rely as much on upload speed as download, and many broadband connections have a tiny upload speed compared to download. BT didn’t mention how fast is the upload speeds of Dedicated Connection.
The company is positioning it as an alternative to a business-grade package, which would include preferential tech support, available 24/7 and extras such as dedicated IP addresses.
And yet, Dedicated Connection is more expensive than many of the business packages available from BT. For a 24-month contract for those not already with BT, it costs £59.99 per month. Existing customers pay £10 less per month.
You also get ‘proactive network monitoring’ to identify and remotely fix any issues with a customer’s connection should it occur, McAfee Virus Protect, free installation and ‘dedicated setup from one of BT’s Home Tech Experts’.
CEO BT Consumer, Marc Allera, said: “Our new Dedicated Connection service is specifically designed to provide additional reassurance for consumers, regardless of their existing provider. It will allow them to double the connectivity potential in their home, providing a single connection they can use for activities such as working from home, gaming or online schooling – enabling them to get a reliable connection without disruption.”
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