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Startup offers Broadband help

SOS Broadband, a London based company, is taking its lead from the sterling efforts of the AA and RAC on the ‘real’ highway, and is helping internet users free themselves from data traffic jams, DNS distress and router rage on the information superhighway, with its recovery service for broadband breakdown.

Founder Naresh Sharma believes SOS Broadband is the first broadband emergency recovery operation in the UK, catering for an unfulfilled market need. He says: “Internet access is now the 'fourth utility'. For regular users who rely on their connection, loss of broadband can be stressful, isolating and disempowering. It can also quickly lead to loss of productivity and earnings, especially for the growing army of home workers and freelancers who cannot do their jobs without fully functional access at all times.”

Mr Sharma adds: “Research clearly shows that internet outage for even a day can significantly impair our established routine and cause symptoms of deprivation! According to a recent survey by*, 39% of UK broadband users called technical support in the past 12 months. In the UK alone, people spend £34 million calling technical helplines only to face long, expensive and frustrating delays. If the fault lies on the BT line or exchange, it can commonly take 10 days to trace, while the customer agonisingly keeps calling premium rate lines.

"With SOS Broadband, we are catering for residential users, SOHO professionals and small businesses that do not have round the clock IT resources to manage their unwanted internet downtime. Unlike impersonal ISP helplines, we reconnect our customers to the internet first and ask questions later."

With long-suffering call centre customers in mind, Mr Sharma explains the advantages of SOS Broadband’s customer-focused assistance: “Instead of listening to a range of piped music and electronically delivered options while trying to get through to a ‘human’ operative, SOS Broadband customers enjoy 24/7 technical support on our freephone number. Our technicians help our customers without subjecting them to waiting times."

To ensure a fault is resolved as quickly as possible, the technicians take the customer through common hardware and software checks on their broadband equipment and keep a stock of routers, modems, cables and filters that are loaned to customers in an emergency. So customers can continue with their work online, they are given immediate access to an alternative standby service, and can also take advantage of free and unlimited data usage on SOS Broadband's mobile high speed internet during their breakdown.

The cost of using SOS Broadband is just £6.99 per month and there are no hidden fees and all support calls and emergency equipment rentals are free of charge. As well as providing recovery services, SOS Broadband keeps its customers connected anywhere at any time by lending them high speed equipment to take on holidays and business trips at just 4.99/day.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.