Now that’s the $64,000 question. Well, sort of – you’d need to have a serious Broadband requirement to shell out that much! But it’s definitely a question we get asked all the time at RoundWorks. There are more options out there than you might think, especially if you’ve just started up and are a newbie to the business Broadband game.
It’s important for your company (and your wallet) that you make the right choice. But before you even think about choosing a provider or package, you need to identify the best type of service. Confused.com? Don’t worry, all will be revealed! We’re about to take a look at some of the key business Broadband service types and how they work. Let’s go!
ADSL / ADSL2+
This is often the Broadband of choice for smaller businesses with basic connectivity requirements. Just like domestic Broadband, it runs off a normal phone line. So if you work from home, you may need to look no further (you should still choose a business-grade ADSL product though).
Even if you have office-based premises, ADSL could still be for you. It’s ideal if your internet use is limited to emails, web browsing and the odd cloud computing application.
Deals vary between providers, but you can generally expect to get download speeds of up to 24Mbs and upload speeds of up to 2.5Mbs. You’ll need to pay more for the faster end of the scale, though.
Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC)
Often known as superfast Broadband, Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) is a popular option for home and business users alike. You’ll benefit from a fibre optic connection between the local telephone exchange and the nearest internet cabinet, enabling mega fast speeds. A standard copper phone line will then complete the connection to your premises.
Whilst FTTC is certainly fast and resilient, there are a few drawbacks. Like ADSL, your upload and download speeds will depend on how far you are from the cabinet. And the line will be ‘contended’, which means you’ll share it with other users. This could slow things down at busy times.
On the other hand, it’s a great choice if you need a high speed connection at an affordable price (it’s normally cheaper than EFM). Upload speeds can reach 20Mbps, whilst download speeds can reach the dizzy heights of 80Mbps for premium deals.
You may also have the option of stepping up to a Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) service. This involves replacing the analogue cable between the cabinet and your premises with fibre optic cable – giving you all-singing, all-dancing download speeds of up to 1Gbps.
Ethernet First Mile (EFM)
EFM can be a good choice if you need more oomph than ADSL or FFTC, and/or the reassurance of an ‘uncontended line’. This means your Broadband connection only serves your premises and won’t be shared with anyone else. You’ll have minimum bandwidth and internet speeds, guaranteed by a Service Level Agreement.
EFM uses the same type of copper analogue lines as ADSL. But with EFM, you’ll benefit from multiple wires bonded together in pairs, so you get a much faster connection. It’s also more reliable as if one pair fails, the others will still work.
You’ll also get symmetric bandwidth (your upload and download speeds will be the same), which could be useful if you send or share a lot of large files online.
Point to point wireless (wireless fibre)
If your business is out in the sticks with rubbish ADSL or fibre service, why not look at point to point wireless? This uses airborne signals that ping between fixed points to bring business-grade connectivity to isolated areas.
Another plus point is that there are no installation costs, unlike EFM or a Leased Line. Wireless fibre also offers a secure, reliable connection that won’t be affected by bad weather. On the other hand, you’re unlikely to get faster download or upload speeds than with a standard ADSL connection.
To be honest, a Leased Line won’t be an option for most businesses. They cost a fortune to install and the running costs are pretty hefty, too. That’s because a Leased Line is a completely private, uncontended line that exclusively connects two locations. That could be your business and your Broadband provider’s data centre, or two of your own sites.
A Leased Line is ‘fibre all the way’, enabling a mega-fast, highly reliable and secure connection. Speeds range from 2Gbps right up to 10Gbps. It could be your best choice if you need a a Service Level Agreement that guarantees a superfast, uninterrupted connection.
In terms of functionality, there’s nothing a Leased Line can’t do. Internet, voice, video, data traffic…any volume in any combination. It’s the absolute Gold Standard for business Broadband!
RoundWorks will help you make the right choice! Don’t get bogged down in business Broadband solutions. Ask us to help, instead! Just give us a call on 0333 344 4645 to discuss your options. Or, you can email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website for an online chat. We hope to hear from you soon!