Selecting business broadband isn’t always an easy decision. In truth, companies often have significantly different requirements to individual home users. As a result, it is often wise to consider a dedicated business connection rather than simply utilizing your home provider and simply installing a second line.
What Makes Business Broadband Different?
When an Internet connection behaves sub-optimally at home – such as running slowly or failing to connect for a period of time – it is often little more than an inconvenience. For businesses, an inability to process credit cards, communicate with customers or trade equities could be a much bigger deal.
Another consideration when choosing business broadband is how likely your company is to grow in the coming months and years. Most standard consumer lines offer a limited bandwidth, which is shared by all users in the area. As a result, increasing numbers of users can lead to declining service for all concerned. This is especially so at peak times, when usage is heaviest.
Business lines, however, tend to adopt a rather different mentality. Firstly, business fibre can grow with your business, offering unrivalled flexibility. Also, in the case of leased lined, you can feel confident that the service you receive won’t decline at peak times.
One final consideration is asymmetry. Most consumer Internet lines are set up to download data much more quickly than they upload, which helps to speed up standard consumer streaming and web browsing.
For businesses, however, a symmetric connection can often be more beneficial. Here, bandwidth is balanced to allow superfast uploads. In this regard, large volumes of data can be backed up to offsite locations, and both VoIP and video conferencing can work more effectively.
The end result is that business broadband can be surprisingly different to standard consumer broadband, and can have a considerable impact on your overall business effectiveness.
Factors to Consider
If you’re starting to see the benefits of dealing with a specialist business broadband provider, the next obvious question is quite what you should be looking at when making a decision.
First and foremost, you’ll want to be confident that the line you use is able to deal with your data requirements. The most common metric used to measure such things is bandwidth. Typically, higher bandwidth connections cost more, so you’ll want to investigate all the options. Pleasantly, a small number of providers such as Luminet provide a range of different bandwidth options, enabling your connection to grow with your business.
A lesser-known consideration is that of latency. Latency is the amount of time required for packets of data to move from one location to another. In other words, latency can be considered just as important as bandwidth for choosing a lightning-fast business broadband connection.
Speed of Installation
The best broadband in the world is useless if it takes months to connect. While many consumer lines may take 2-4 weeks to connect, business lines can be far more variable.
There are two common factors which impact the speed of installation. The first is the specific service you have opted for. As an example, a leased line typically takes between 40 and 90 days to install, as considerable manual work has to be put into actually physically installing a new line for you to use.
On the other hand, other services such as fibre air broadband can be up and running within days. Luminet’s record for installing a new business broadband connection sits at just 7 hours from initial phone call to connected line.
The second common factor is the provider themselves. Despite the connection process taking minimal times, many companies still maintain surprisingly long lead times between sign-up and connection. Luminet appreciates the importance of connecting our clients as rapidly as possible. When you deal with Luminet, we make your connection our primary focus.
Lastly consider what will happen to your business in the case of Internet outages. While such a proposition might not be a problem to some companies, for others it can be the difference between profit and loss.
Under such circumstances consider selecting a broadband service which offers failover – a redundant spare system which automatically kicks into life if your primary line fails. Luminet, for example, offers a 100% service level agreement.
Primarily data is sent over underground fibre cables. In the unlikely event that any issue is ever experienced, the failover switches to fibre air broadband in less than a minute, offering unrivalled levels of connectivity.