An Internet service is like the flow of water. A running tap is sufficient to wash your hands but you will need something a bit more substantial if you intend to wash something the size of a lorry.
To help you focus on what type of Internet you may require, ask yourself, what do think of your current internet service…
…are you able to navigate through web-based services easily without the screen stalling?
…how long does it take to download or upload data? If this was improved, would this increase the productivity of your business?
…how many people in your business are reliant on the internet service?
…if your internet connection was down for a day, what would be the financial cost to your business?
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Is a cost effective way to provide Internet for companies with less than 20 employees.
The way in which Broadband is sold in the UK, can be very misleading. It tends to be promoted on the maximum download speed, but be aware, there are three key factors that will determine the quality of the service…
- Distance from the Local Exchange / green cabinet: The closer you are, the higher the maximum download speed.
- The Material used to deliver the service: Higher bandwidths travel further over glass fibre than over copper wire.
- The Contention Ratio: The Local Exchange is allocated with a finite amount Bandwidth. The more circuits that share Bandwidth, the lower the average speed will be.
It is key to understand, that the maximum download speed is not the typical speed the broadband service will run at. Due to the nature of broadband, the download speed constantly fluctuates between zero and the maximum. Also, the Upload speed is asymmetric, meaning it is significantly lower than the maximum Download speed.
Broadband comes in several flavours and is simple enough to comprehend, but it is crucial to know who the Internet Service Provider (ISP) is. As mentioned, the Contention Ratio determines the quality of the service and this is controlled by the ISP. (Not all broadband services are alike).
Currently the most readily available products are ADSL, ADSL2+ and VDSL services which have maximum download speeds of 8, 24, 80Mbps respectively. Though be aware the name of the product is irrelevant as each ISP uses their own brand name.
VDSL is more commonly known as Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) which BT calls its Infinity product.
The chart shows how maximum download speed decreases with distance. You will notice that at a certain point a higher speed product may not provide the maximum speed available.
To determine what broadband services are available, a full postal address or a single, analogue line number must be provided. This can be used to pinpoint not only the nearest Local Exchange, but the exact local (green) cabinet that would deliver service.
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Unlike Broadband which shares bandwidth with other circuits (customers), a Leased Line is a dedicated internet service that provides constant bandwidth speeds both up and down.
If you pay for a 100Mb service, you will able to send/receive up to a combined total of up to 100Mbps (Megabytes per second) of data at any given time.
Unless your business is heavily dependent on passing large amounts of data, a Leased Line would be recommendable for any company with 50 employees or more. And in most urban developments, circuits are cost effective.
Leased lines can be delivered over various methods and therefore it is worth investigating what is available. It is possible to deliver leased lines over copper wire which may be suitable for businesses with 10-50 employees. (These services bridge the gap between business broadband and fibre circuits).
Most circuits are sold on a 3-year term; therefore it is worth to consider will the requirement be sufficient in 2 years’ time? (Typically, a company’s bandwidth requirement doubles every 3 years).
Leased lines delivered over glass fibre are extremely reliable and most Network Providers will promote 99.9% assurance. All the same, some providers will also recommend a back-up service. This is all good and well, but be mindful it might negate any compensation claim, if the primary circuit was to fail.