Which Connectivity to Choose

When starting a new company, moving offices or increasing number of staff connectivity needs to be carefully considered. Most businesses will have the following services using the internet:

·        Telephony (VOIP)

·        Email

·        LoB (Line of Business Applications)

·        Endpoint Protection

·        File Sharing & Communication (Teams, Slack, OneDrive)

·        Web browsing

·        Remote Monitoring & Management (IT Support tool)

The required speed of your connection is dependent on the connections you require. It is imperative to list all devices including mobiles to identify the required speed for the connection to be stable and allow your teams to be productive.

I find a lot of companies don’t know what connection speed or type to get so they rely 100% on their outsourced IT company or the first ISP on Google. I suggest business owners or who is responsible should make sure they are research their technology as it can impact the business’s performance which in turn will impact the profit margin at some stage. This could be from voice quality issues on the phone to simply not being able to provide the customer experience you want to deliver.

Technology affects customer service in a positive or negative manor which is crucial to building or sustaining a business, if you are not looking after your customer experience then one of your competitors will be.

Let’s start off with some key terms

Business Broadband

This term can mean a connectivity type using Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) like ADSL or VDSL and even Fibre. The DSL lines use the existing telephone infrastructure to send/receive data which is then split using a DSL splitter. I have seen this term used a lot with fibre packages, but many of the packages are fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) which can be the green box locally in your area and then copper directly to the business.

FTTC provides a slower overall speed than FTTP but it does come at a reduced price

FTTP can do speeds up to 1Gbps but it does come at a premium, only certain areas do it and installation can take some time.

Broadband is not a dedicated connection; multiple companies can be using the same connection in the area as contention could decrease the download/upload speed.

Leased Line

Dedicated connectivity between the local exchange, fixed speed for download and upload without anyone else sharing your connection. If you are a business which can afford a leased line, I would always suggest it as you know that you have guaranteed speed without other businesses interfering and this can help using VOIP with a lot of concurrent calls.

Ethernet over FTTC

Similar to FTTC the last mile from the local exchange (green box) uses the existing copper cabling to the business and the fibre backbone it provides uncontested bandwidth so you don’t have to worry about other users in your area.

The benefit of this over a leased line is the cost, it can be up to 4 x cheaper than a leased line but the maximum speed can be significantly lower.

Mobile

We use mobile internet on a daily basis via our mobile phones, 3G, 4G and now 5G use a wireless type of internet connectivity. There are still quite a lot of areas in the UK where fibre is still unavailable and can be used a failover option for redundancy encase your main hard-wired connection goes down.

If you require a cost-effective failover which can be paid for on a pay as you use basis, mobile is a great cost-effective solution.

If your office is in an area where you can only get ADSL/VDSL then I would check to see what coverage you have with each network.

Vodafone Coverage Checker

EE Coverage Checker

02 Coverage Checker

Three Coverage Checker

Recommendation

I would always look at a leased line solution for a business, being online during working hours can be crucial for a business but realistically there are restraints. Depending on your requirements, if you’re a business with <20 staff using VOIP and emails only then you can get away with EoFTTC but I would strongly advise against any business broadband package because of the contested and random download/upload speeds.

Mobile should be considered as a failover, if your business package does not come with a failover provided then I would look at a SIM only package..

There are a lot of different types which I haven’t covered but if you would like to know more or discuss on the type of connectivity to use, please give Hero IT Support an email on hero@heroitsupport.com