Enterprise-grade Internet connections have been enabling companies to operate online at breakneck speeds for several years now. Until relatively recently, unless your business regularly needed to send large amounts of data across the world, connecting to the internet at extreme speeds was more of a luxury than a necessity. However, with the rise of cloud server solutions and the mobile workforce over the past two to three years, reliable, high-speed internet has emerged as a must.
Today’s connected businesses rely on fiber-optic lines, cable communication lines, or telephone lines. This infrastructure keeps them sending and receiving data packets day and night. Each of these three connection types has its attributes and considerations, rendering each one worthy of attention for companies.
You want to be sure you are choosing the best high-speed connection for your business’s unique needs, of course. Companies that require higher bandwidth or faster speeds can’t rely on cheaper, older options and still be efficient.
Let’s take a look at the various connection type possibilities and consider some of the critical factors that can help you to close in on the best solution for you.
What Are the Options?
Cable internet access relies on the infrastructure of cable television, sharing the cables for data transfer. Distance is no object for cable delivery, but the bandwidth is often shared among scores of businesses and private homes. Sharing bandwidth means that there’s plenty of potential for significant slow-downs during heavy use times.
• DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) DSL uses your local telephone lines to transmit data at a higher frequency band than those used for phone calls. In this case, your office’s distance from the central signal can indeed slow things down. If you’re far enough away, you won’t even be able to connect at all, which means DSL won’t even be an option for you. On the other hand, when you connect with DSL, it’s always with a dedicated circuit, just like when you make a phone call from your landline. Another critical advantage of DSL is its relative affordability.
• Fiber Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) internet service involves connecting via fiber-optic lines running from a central hub to the user’s home or workplace. Fast and affordable, fiber is also particularly well defended against the potential for harm from the elements. Far more prevalent than it once was, fiber service is still the newest kid on the block, so it may not be available in every location. However, fiber is now available in almost every major area and many out-of-the-way places as well. Still, in many cases, opting for fiber requires investing in infrastructure extensions.
How Do We Decide?
The most critical factor for determining whether your business will best be served by cable, DSL, or fiber internet access is availability. Since not all means of data transmission are available in all areas, step 1 is researching your local options.
It’s worth investigating. There may be only one viable possibility, in which case the decision will be out of your hands. However, if you’re in a position to choose between all three line types, here are some key parameters that should inform your selection.
• The Need for Speed How fast do you need your internet to be? How much bandwidth do you anticipate requiring? How many devices are going to need to transfer data of what types and in what volume?
• Reliability Leeway
For some types of businesses, a minute or two here or there without the internet may prove incidental. In contrast, for others, maintaining the constancy of readiness is their calling card. How consistently do your speed and bandwidth need to be? To what extent would periodic delays of service impact your ongoing operations?
• Compatible Technology
The odds are incredibly high that you are not planning to build an office-wide computer network from scratch. So it’s essential to make sure that the hardware and equipment that you already have are compatible with your new high-speed Internet service. Consider your wiring, your routers, and the workstation computers themselves. You may want to upgrade, but it’s probably wisest to take the time to figure out how to do so in stages, economically and efficiently.
The bottom line often overrides all other considerations. Making sure you can afford your high-speed internet solution is critical, as connectivity has become an expected component of every business.
Consulting with the Experts
Even once you’ve wrapped your head around all of the factors that can influence your high-speed internet needs, you’ve still got another hurdle. Deciding between the many plans can be overwhelming. The decision can be even more confusing because the terms, plans, and billing models for your various options can change rapidly. These changes may work to your advantage, with higher speed for lower costs. Still, the vigilance required to continue getting the best deal can drain your attention from other important aspects of your business.
An expert consultant who monitors the changing landscape of high-speed Internet infrastructure may be your best bet. They will be able to assess your speed and bandwidth needs – and recommend the connectivity method that will serve you best. Our experts identify solutions explicitly geared to what you and your company are aiming to accomplish.