Branding, a good product and internet connection. These are the 3 most important things for small to mid-sized businesses looking to gain a solid foothold in today's market. A fast, stable internet connection equals more productivity, greater employee satisfaction, and most of all, padding for the bottom line.
Fibre is one, if not the fastest possible internet connection one could have, but is it the way to go for your business?
The first instinct for beginner entrepreneurs is to go with the most popular internet solution, which is DSL. DSL is the most basic internet solution for business and consumers alike; the technology uses existing phone lines to send and receive data. Business DSL packages typically have a low set monthly fee which depends on the speed of your connection. Possible speeds include 10 or 20 Mbps and up, with lower tier packages having the least benefits. DSL won't typically work as advertised because the farther you are from the main service line, the less reliable and slower the connection gets. Just to give you an idea, a strong signal range is somewhere at 3km within the provider's signal point. What's more, you won't be able to connect online if your phone lines are down for any reason.
If there's one saving grace, it's that broadband companies offer dedicated customer support for businesses. When your internet service goes down, all you have to do is to call your internet provider to get a support ticket and possible resolution in a timely manner. Service level agreements are mostly best endeavours but the truth is that it's the ISP (Internet Service Provider) who has complete control over when you'll get internet back. This type of weakness becomes apparent when your company loses revenue as a result of internet downtime. You won't have this kind of problem if you sign up for fibre.
The Broadband Of The Future
Right out of the gate Fibre offers better internet via a full and symmetrical duplex technology and high bandwidth aspects.
FTTP offers pure fiber optic connection straight from a capable service provider. The line extends from the telephone exchange straight to your office. Fibre is a remarkable piece of technology; a single strand of thin, lightweight fiber optic cable is the one responsible for transmitting and receiving data. To give you an idea of how thin it is, imagine a strand of fine hair. Digital information is carried no matter the weather condition, i.e., high humidity or rainstorm.
Fibre is the internet solution of choice if you want to get the best possible speed. Connections can be scaled according to need; you can opt to get up to 10 Gbps, equivalent to more than a thousand DSL lines! Fibre is customizable and subscribers can switch on the fly whenever there's a demand for more speed. In short, you'll be able to tailor the connection to make your business run more efficiently.
Service Level Agreement states that subscribers will not be bothered and tethered with data bandwidth limits and caps. You're promised high uptime rates and blistering speed at a consistent clip no matter the time of day. When your fibre line goes down you can rely on customer support to get you up and running quickly. Believe it or not, fibre has built-in security protocols that shield sensitive information and protect both incoming and outgoing data from prying eyes. You'll be given a dedicated private line which is in itself more secure than a shared cable line. Physical intrusion is impossible- it's that tamperproof!
Let's talk about one downside of having fibre connection- the cost. Having the fastest speed and the most secure line will take a toll on your business budget. Moreover, this type of internet technology is relatively new and therefore, availability is understandably restricted to certain areas. Instead of using existing phone lines like DSL does, fibre lays out new fiber optic lines underground. If there's no line yet, you can call an ISP who carries fibre and ask them to have a line installed from the access point to your business location. As it's underground, extensive digging of roads and sidewalks will have to made to lay in the cables.
To answer the question- is fibre the way to go for your business? If the nature of your business requires handling huge amounts of data or files going in and out on a daily basis, then you'll certainly need faster internet speed. If your business files are located in the cloud or you have a need for video calls domestically or internationally, then fibre is definitely the way to go. If your area allows you to get a fibre connection, then by all means go for it – just assess the options available and compare the services of the many leased line providers that are out there. Despite the initial outlay, the benefits will stack up and give you more business gains, including greater profits in the long run.