- There are over 101 million fixed broadband subscribers in the United States. Many of these are small firms and businesses relying on the internet for communication, marketing, sales, and advertising.
- The type of connection you get, whether Standard or High Availability, determines the service levels your business can expect to receive from your internet service provider.
- Choosing the correct broadband speed is essential to ensure your business can operate smoothly and your employees aren’t frustrated with the lack of bandwidth.
- Your choice of an internet service provider depends heavily on the availability of Spectrum internet services near your location as well as how long it will take for service installation.
- Failover or backup internet, also known as a redundancy level, will help ensure you have no downtime, especially if your business depends heavily on internet access and reliability.
- The cost or price tag that comes with an internet service should be compared to not just the speeds, but the type of connection and availability.
- A provider’s reputation and service level agreements are also key points that should factor in your decision.
Almost every business maintains an online presence of some form or another. Even those that don’t still need the internet to communicate with vendors and customers, not to mention banks, regulatory bodies, and employees. The internet catalyzed a massive transformation in the business world. Today, thanks to widespread internet penetration and availability, virtually every business in an online business.
Large enterprises and small firms alike rely on the internet to market their business, increase their brand visibility, attract new customers, and sell their products and services. But is your business working with the right internet provider?
Factors To Consider When Choosing an ISP for Your Business
Unfortunately, too many businesses end up with an internet service that barely meets their needs, is unreliable, too slow, or prone to downtime. Remember, that for many businesses, the internet is a key resource that helps generate revenue.
When your business internet is too slow or goes down, your resources idle, you lose productivity, and ultimately, you lose revenue. Depending on the nature and size of your business as well as its location, there may be a number of suitable options available in your area. This blog discusses five important factors to consider before you commit to an internet provider for your business.
The Type of Internet Connection Best Suited To Your Business
One of the first factors you should consider when choosing an ISP is what type of internet service best suits your nature of business.
Primarily, there are two broad types of internet services:
- Standard services include conventional forms of services such as cable and DSL internet. Standard internet services tend to be relatively cheap, but also have lower service quality and reliability than High Availability services.
- High Availability services typically include Ethernet or fiber-optic connections. They are extremely fast and reliable, with a high standard of service. But they can also be quite pricey.
Getting Sufficient Speeds For Your Business Needs
Business continuity these days is tied in very closely to sufficient internet speeds. Because businesses have varying internet consumption patterns, it is very difficult to calculate exactly what speeds you would need to function. However, it is a good idea to get enough speeds that ensure your business operates smoothly, especially during peak hours.
If you have large digital meetings this will also consume more bandwidth than usual. This blog looks at ways to solve common problems with video and VOIP conference calls, including speed problems. Slower speeds and insufficient bandwidth make for a very frustrating experience for people relying on the service to do their jobs.
If your business makes use of cloud or web-based apps, voice service, and other high-consumption activities like downloads and uploads, you will need to ensure there is enough speed bandwidth for everything. For more on getting the right internet speeds for your business, check out this informative piece.
Your Business Location and Internet Availability
In most cases, even if you want the fastest High-Availability service, it won’t do you any good if there are no providers in your area. The location of your business and the availability of internet providers in the area ultimately governs what options you can choose from. Remember that many High-Availability services are present in urban centers and areas with a dense population. You may find it very difficult to find a fiber internet provider in your area if you’re based in a low-internet density area.
In most cases, satellite internet is one of the options available. The time it takes for the provider to install your service is also a factor to consider. High-Availability services may require the provider to lay down a dedicated line for your business, especially in new construction areas. Choose wisely, because in such cases, the caveat for installation can extend up to 6 months.
Backup Internet and Redundancy Measures
Again, this depends on the nature of your business. If you have a business that depends heavily on internet access, and you cannot tolerate more than a couple of minutes of downtime, then your choice of internet service provider should reflect that.
You should have a redundancy-level internet connection that switches on when your main line is down for whatever reason. Standard internet service providers routinely offer redundancy levels. But you may also be able to secure this with your High-Availablity service provider. Remember, certain SLAs or service level agreements guarantee more than 90% of uptime, but if downtime does happen, it could impact your business functions. Be sure you have redundancy measures in place.
Value for Money
The final factor to consider is the price tag or cost of the internet service you choose. Profitability and budget allocations are always of paramount importance in a business. Keeping that in mind, your choice of internet service will depend heavily on its cost. But the price tag itself does not tell us anything in absolute terms.
For example, High Availability services may come with a bigger price tag than standard broadband, especially if a provider has to lay down infrastructure to get to you.
On the other hand, standard internet service providers might be offering better availability and more speeds in your area. You should compare the cost of your internet service to the speeds and service levels it offers, as well as its availability in your area.
There are also many other factors to consider when choosing an internet service provider for your business. One of these is the provider’s reputation for reliability. All providers claim they offer reliable internet services, but their customers often say otherwise. You will need to do a lot of homework on the providers in your area before making a commitment. This includes going through customer reviews, both on sites like Yelp but also from neighboring businesses.
Remember, the best judge of an internet service is the person or business that uses it. Getting your information right from the horse’s mouth, as it were, will give you an accurate idea of what to expect from service providers in your area.
Another key factor to consider is the SLA or service level agreement. Typically with High Availability business internet services, providers offer a service level agreement that defines specific metrics for the duration of the service that the provider needs to meet. In a way, these are targets that the provider guarantees the service will meet.
These metrics can include things like response priority, latency, quality of service, packet loss, and guaranteed uptime. Hopefully, this blog will have armed you with enough knowledge to make an informed choice regarding a business internet service. If you have any comments or suggestions, we would love to hear from you on this topic. Cheers!
Interesting related article: “All about the Internet.”