More and more small businesses depend on their broadband connection to operate effectively and spend considerable capital to make sure that they have reliable connectivity that suits their operational needs. There are lots of criteria to consider when choosing your broadband or Ethernet package including speed, uptime and contract length. But how do you know which package is best for your business?
Before you begin to look for the best deal, you need to establish what kind of internet user you and your business are. Do you need huge download limits, transfer large files or will your connection mainly be for checking emails?
So what connectivity is available and how would your business benefit?
Standard copper ADSL broadband runs off copper lines and can offer up to 16 Mbps on an ADSL2+ service. Rural areas and properties that are further away from the exchange may only be enabled for ADSL Max which is a step down from the top speeds. It’s all ways best practice to check the actual speeds of the connection you will receive before you buy so you are fully informed about your maximum speed.
Pro’s: Cost effective Ideal usage: Occasional web surfing & email Con’s: Slow speeds experience
Fibre Optic Broadband
Fibre optic broadband has drastically evolved over the last 5 years with ever increasing superfast speeds being advertised yearly. Fibre broadband packages can provide up to 300Mbps by transmitting information as light rather than electrical signals and are ideal for businesses who have numerous email users and who use business critical web based applications.
With 52% of SMBs using fibre broadband saying it has been an enabler for growth, and 79% indicating it has saved time and money since upgrading, it’s worth considering and monitoring your current internet usage and in particular the time it takes to complete internet based tasks to aid your decision to upgrade.
Firstly, you do need to check that your business is enabled to receive fibre by checking on an online checker or calling your broadband provider and then it’s a case of what speed would suit both business and budget.
Pro’s: Fast speeds available in most geographical areas Ideal usage: fast email and internet browsing access, file uploads and downloads Con’s: not available in some areas.
Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) refers to the first mile from your premises to the cabinet. As opposed to having a copper line from your premises to the cabinet, you would have a tough Ethernet cable for the first mile.
EFM provides guaranteed and dedicated bandwidth, that offers an ethernet-like service at a lower price. Upload and download speeds are consistent meaning and emails, website uploads, live chat facilities will be faster compared to copper broadband. Fair Usage or Traffic Management policies do not apply to EFM as it is a private line so be wary of any provider mentioning these in relation to EFM.
If your business is heavily reliant on an internet connection, and would benefit from consistent speeds of up to 35Mbit/s, EFM could be the solution for you.
Pro’s: Fast uncontended speeds Ideal usage: numerous internet users, reliant on file uploads and downloads Con’s: not available in some areas.
Fibre Leased lines offering guaranteed and dedicated bandwidth, ideal for delivering your bandwidth intensive applications and data.
You are able to easily monitor your connection usage through a dashboard so you have a clear understanding of what applications and activities are using your bandwidth and can see if you would benefit from an increase which can be implemented quickly.
Many providers offer a popular feature that allows you to tailor your connection so it is specific to you and your requirements, for example if you run VoIP you can easily dedicated a portion of the bandwidth that is consistently used for your business calls or other bandwidth intensive activities such as video streaming.
Pro’s: Dedicated speeds all day, every day Ideal usage: Larger business with bandwidth intensive needs and numerous users Con’s: Expense, as prices fluctuate depending on your distance from the exchange.