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Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of firms are using broadband packages aimed at home users, says

Research by the comparison website revealed many firms use consumer packages because they believe they are 'cheaper'. However, they run the risk of breaching their ISP's terms and conditions, as well as suffering from poor connection speeds and a lack of bandwidth to run business applications.

More than two in five (41 percent) firms say speed is the most important factor when choosing a broadband provider, while 22 percent claim they select a package based on large or unlimited downloads and 20 percent pick a package based on the ISP's technical support offering.

"Our research indicates that a high percentage of businesses are operating on inferior consumer service level agreements in the mistaken belief that they're cheaper," said Simon Piper, head of business development,

"If the internet is vital to the way you do business, you need to ensure that it's up and running as much as possible – and that if something does go wrong, you can get help quickly and easily. That's why it's important to choose business-grade services, with business-level support."