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Bulldog targets SMEs

Gagging for it, apparently

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Local loop unbundling (LLU) operator Bulldog has unveiled two broadband and phone packages aimed at small businesses (SMEs) in a bid to expand its own operation.

It has dug up some research to suggest that two thirds of SMEs believe their current voice and broadband providers "do not understand their business or just pretend to".

A similar proportion of SMEs have resisted buying up more phone lines because the cost of additional lines is too high. And more than half of those SMEs quizzed reckon it would be a great idea to get both voice and broadband services from a single supplier on a single bill.

Which is an amazing coincidence...because that's effectively what Bulldog is offering SMEs. Funny that.

The two packages are "Bulldog Small Business" and "Bulldog Medium Business" which offer broadband speeds of up to 8 meg and multiple phone numbers as part of the ISP's unbundled service.

Bulldog director of sales and marketing Carlo Soresina said: "Small businesses in the UK are faced with a communications crisis and are crying out for a solution. We understand the need for simple, reliable and supported packaged offerings and today's announcement represents the first phase of our 'Office-in-a-Box' vision for smaller businesses."

Of course, SMEs that rely on communications for their business may be just a tad wary of Bulldog. Last year, the ISP faced an Ofcom investigation following hundreds of complaints from consumers about Bulldog's poor service. A similar cock-up would be seriously damaging for any business looking to switch.

However, Soresina says he understands those concerns but insists the firm has made massive improvements since last year, including greater investment in support, to ensure that such problems are never again repeated. The firm has also introduced service level agreements (SLAs) to help provide additional assurances.

Bulldog's decision to court small business comes as its owner - Cable & Wireless (C&W) - is ditching thousands of SME customers so it can concentrate on 3,000 or so core customers such as large corporates and public sector organisations. ®

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