When it comes to choosing a broadband connection for your business, you may be surprised to discover there are three main choices. So how do you decide which right for you?
By far the cheapest option, ADSL is also the most common broadband connection in the UK. Running over standard telephone lines, ADSL offers download speeds "up to" 25Mbps which is considered adequate for residential connections.
In business however, there are two problems. First, although the ADSL2 download speed is relatively good, the upload speed is much lower – just 3Mbps. This means that your field staff may run into problems accessing files and resources remotely.
The second problem with ADSL is that the connection is shared at your local telephone exchange with up to 20 other businesses. If you think of your internet connection as a pipe, every time you send an email, browse the web, or make a video call, some of that pipe istaken up. Now think of all your employees doing the same – they each take up some more of the pipe. Finally, imagine twenty companies the same size as yours sharing that same pipe and you can see why that might be a problem.
An ADSL connection may be suitable for very small companies, but for everyone else it will quickly limit their online productivity. Especially if you intend to take advantage of VoIP telephony.
Fibre optic broadband
Instead of using traditional copper wire, fibre optic broadband uses a completely different type of cable (at some point along the connection), that helps to deliver much faster internet speeds – up to 76MBps. Uploads speeds are also much faster – as high as 19Mbps under optimum conditions.
Unfortunately, most fibre optic connections have the same problem as ADSL – your connection is shared at the exchange. So although there is a lot more "pipe" for shared traffic, modern data-intensive applications like video conferencing and streaming will quickly consume the available bandwidth.
If your business does choose a fibre optic connection, it should only be seen as a temporary measure until you can graduate to a better service.
Fibre Ethernet / Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC)
Unlike ADSL and fibre optic broadband, fibre Ethernet connections offer more than raw download speed. Yes, they can be incredibly fast (up to 1Gbps) but the most important feature is that they are not shared – all of the bandwidth is yours to use as you need. Unlike other broadband options, fibre Ethernet offers the same speed for uploading and downloading too, so data access is incredibly fast in both directions. Using a dedicated fibre optic connection, all of your data is secure from interference or tampering by third parties.
Fibre Ethernet is the most expensive broadband option, but you have a range of services at different price points to choose from. And, as your needs change, you can upgrade to access more bandwidth.
Don’t be blinded by speed and price
In the connected marketplace, having reliable, speedy broadband is essential. So investing in a shared ADSL connection simply because it is cheaper could be a false economy. There’s a very good reason that ADSL connections are advertised as offering "up to" 25Mbps – there’s almost no chance of ever attaining those speeds. Ever.
The additional outlay for fibre Ethernet will quickly pay for itself, especially if you are able to consolidate your VoIP phone and Internet connections into a single line. Your connection is also backed by a solid service level agreement, ensuring you get the speed and uptime promised. All of which ensures that you have a reliable connection at all times.
To learn more about your broadband connection options, including why your business really should consider fibre Ethernet, please get in touch.