The Importance of Choosing the Right Internet Connection for your Business
Many people are now using IP Telephony (or VoIP) for their calls. From the home user who makes calls to relatives abroad, to the person who works remotely and needs to take his office with him, more and more people are coming to depend on this technology for their communications.
But how many of them realise that this choice is affected by another choice, one they made beforehand without thinking about VoIP?
Choosing the correct broadband connection is essential to function in today's business environment. Careful needs to be applied to a number of questions, in order to select a service which adequately provides the bandwidth needed, the scalability required, without paying for unnecessary resources which will go unused.
There are many tiers of internet connection, and you can understand why many customers get lost in a sea of acronyms. Most will have heard of ADSL (Otherwise known as ordinary 'Broadband'). After this comes EFM ('Ethernet for the First Mile'), followed by FTTC ('Fibre To The Cabinet'). The top tier, the glacé cherry on top of the connectivity cake, is the 'Leased Line'.
The first stage in making your decision is to decide on your current and projected usage. If you are a company which routinely transfers very large amounts of data, for instance using graphic design or video editing software, then you should consider a Leased Line.
A Leased Line gives a dedicated internet connection straight to your premises. You know the green cabinets which you see dotted around? This is a BT Cabinet. If there is one on or near your street then it is probably responsible for delivering your neighbourhood broadband. Imagine having an entire green cabinet all to yourself. That is basically a Leased Line. It avoids the problem known as 'Contention'.
If we return to your neighbourhood and its green cabinet, we can see the cabinet serving the houses and streets around it with FTTC broadband. So far, all well and good. However, now consider what happens when your neighbour (the annoying one with the huge garden) builds a cottage in his grounds. The new cottage will now need to connect to the internet. As the Green Cabinet has already been built, it is a finite resource which now most spread round more users. So, due to your annoying neighbour and his new cottage, your internet speeds will slow down. Now consider what happens when a developer decides to build five new houses on your street. Or ten. This slow down is caused by 'Contention'. You can see that the internet speed you started with can quickly degrade as time goes on.
This is annoying with general use within the home, but can be a major problem when trying to run a business.
The only problem with Leased Lines as a conection is the expense attached. Your really do need to be using the internet for huge amounts of data, and your business has to rely on this conection, in order for it to make financial sense.
So, we can move on to the second rung down on our Internet ladder. Or, sticking with our cake metaphor, the icing. An FTTC or EFM connection is seen by some as a good compromise. They offer improved connection speeds, and improved guarantees for upload and download speeds when compared with standard ADSL broadband.
The sponge at the base of the connectivity cake is ADSL – what most of us think of when we think of broadband. This has the lowest speeds of any variant, and is the most prone to issues, poor issue fix times, and contention.