The Lowdown on Business Broadband

Nowadays there are not many businesses that do not rely on their internet connection. Business relies on fast communication with customers, staff and in many cases, online sales and social media presence. The fast pace of trend changes, financial markets, political and world events means it is necessary for businesses of all types to analyse future trends. Staying competitive in business is harder than ever these days so having business broadband that performs in line with business needs is crucial. For many businesses an internet outage can have real impact on the bottom line which is why a suitable business broadband package is vital.

Business broadband is a dedicated service that allows businesses uncontended internet connections, enhanced security, and superior speed. Connections for business these days rely on robust connections and service providers. The amount of events that take place in the day to day running of any business are many and include email, video conferencing, social media, uploading and downloading data, web browsing, instant messaging (IM), VoIP telephony and cloud computing.

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This article helps to explain what to look for if you are thinking of dedicated business broadband or are looking to upgrade a current system. All of the important features to look for are clearly explained throughout beginning with the crucial connectivity.

Connection Types

There are two connection types commonly used, Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL and ADSL2+.) The physical location of the business will determine which connection type is most suited:

  • ADSL

    The most common form of business broadband connectivity, this solution is provided via copper telephone lines.

  • ADSL2+

    This is similar to ADSL but offers enhanced and faster download speeds

  • FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet)

    The FTTC connection, consists of a fibre optic connection that runs from the central network to the telephone exchange local to the broadband user. It then continues running to a street cabinet. From the cabinet a copper sub loop splits off directly to the business broadband user premises. It has impressive speed and is easy to upgrade.

Communication

Any decent business broadband solution will support interaction between co-workers both office based and remotely based and will provide simple access to suppliers, customers and other business branches on a global or domestic basis.

Processes

As already discussed, business broadband must provide the necessary processes to suit an individual business. It is vital that all events in a given business day are identified to ensure they can be supported by the broadband solution. File sharing, data storage, cloud computing, CRM tools, research, email, website maintenance, VoIP and video conferencing to name a few.

Security

Business broadband has sophisticated security features that help to avoid data loss and protect against malware (viruses and spyware). The business broadband supplier will also have highest levels of security to protect their own infrastructure. They may also provide a facility to back up business data regularly online.

Service Levels

When considering business broadband, be aware that there is priority technical support that will ensure any down time or issues are addressed immediately. While connection failures and infrastructure issues are rare, technical support is still on hand 24 hours a day to fix any issues, usually within a set time frame determined by service level agreement.

Customer support is also a key factor with business broadband. Whether there are dedicated account managers or customer teams, their goal is to support the business in all aspects of operation and to provide advice on upgrades and future proofing broadband solutions

Contention

Broadband speed is dependent on the amount of traffic using the connection at one time. Contention rates can vary depending on provider, but the majority of business broadband maintains a ratio of 1:1, in other words a dedicated connection for one business to use only, which results in faster speeds and no delay or lag. Business broadband offering greater contention is unlikely to be suitable.

Networks

Business broadband supports easy networking enabling controllable and scalable data flow and information sharing. It is also possible to provide wireless support which is of benefit if there is data to be uploaded or information retrieved by sales staff or travelling staff using either laptops or hand held devices.

Static IP Addresses

Business Broadband packages allow the business one or more static IP addresses this is necessary for remotely accessing business data. Static IP addresses are more reliable for VoIP and Virtual Private Networks (VPN) for secure access to files from the business network computer, for example if email is being retrieved from a given PC within the business.

VoIP

Finally, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a useful tool that enables business to make reliable and cheap telephone calls across the Internet. The VoIP packet technology makes more efficient use of communications than regular telephony. A voice channel is distinct for each conversation occurring that is underway. Businesses are increasingly moving over to VoIP due to the reliability of the infrastructure and inclusion within their business broadband

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