|You rarely find a company today where their business does not, in some way, tie-into their connectivity to the Internet. Whether they are hosting a web site advertising their services, linking multiple office networks together or simply connected for research and email utilization…|
…the importance of this connection is typically critical to the company. The problem here is there are many different providers out there offering Internet connectivity through a variety of methods. Which one do you choose? While you may receive a very low-cost proposal for your connection will you be getting the type of service and reliability you need? Will the bandwidth be enough to accommodate your voice and data traffic? Allow Teleco South Florida to provide some further explanation of these services to assist you with your decision to get your company connected to the Net.
Broadband: With reduced rates and multiple providers offering various services, the days of dial-up are pretty much a thing of the past. Broadband is the term used today to describe the way in which companies are connecting to the Internet or between multiple offices. Broadband provides you with a constant connection and can be more defined by the bandwidth, or speed, at which you communicate. It can be further broken down by the type of service utilized over this connection. You have T1, Metro Ethernet, DSL and Cable alternatives to name just a few. When making a decision on what type of broadband connection your company needs, there are multiple factors to take into consideration. What type of traffic will you be generating? Will it be voice, data or perhaps both? If data only, what type of transactions will be taking place… will you be transferring large files back and forth or simply using it as a means to communicate via email and/or instant messaging? Here are some options available to you.
T1: This type of connection is more prominent in today’s businesses as it has been a tried and tested solution for many years and can easily be expanded upon as your business grows. It is however, in most cases, the costlier solution. The download and upload speeds are equal at 1.5MBPS (megabytes per second) and typically are accompanied with SLA’s (service level agreements) and QOS (quality of service). SLA’s provide you with a level of guaranteed service from your provider which will lead to greater uptimes and faster recoveries should you experience an outage. QOS is the type of service you will need if considering utilizing voice-over-IP (VOIP) for your company’s telephone solution. QOS can basically be described as how data packets are handled over your network. In a VOIP scenario, QOS will give voice packets a higher priority therefore providing better quality for your calls.
Should your business needs grow and you require more bandwidth to accommodate your company, a T1 solution is easily upgradable and will, on average, double your capacity. The typical route to expanding connection speeds in this scenario is by “bonding” two T1’s together. This would provide you with 3MBPS download and upload speeds again guaranteed by your provider through SLA’s.
Metro Ethernet: There are two types of Ethernet connections. You have Ethernet over Copper (EoC) and, the more popular solution, Ethernet over Fiber. Traditionally, Ethernet is delivered to a customer with a minimum speed of 10MBPS which is the equivalent of having 6 T1 lines bonded together. Ethernet connections are capable of speeds up to 1GBPS (gigabytes per second) and are typically more reliable and secure as data travels over its own fiber-connect with multiple redundancy points.
Cable: The majority of cable television companies today offer Internet connectivity to their customers at relatively inexpensive prices. This can be a great solution if you’re only interested in surfing the Internet, processing email and simply looking for an easy way to stay connected. The download speeds can vary anywhere between 6MBPS and upwards of 20MBPS. Upload speeds, the rate at which you send files over these lines, typically range between 10% and 25% percent of the download speed. One of the problems associated with cable solutions is the fact you are sharing this connection with the neighborhood around you. The more cable customers you have in your area, the less bandwidth that may be available to you depending on traffic activity.
DSL: This type of service, otherwise known as a digital subscriber line, is offered by your local phone company at a pretty reasonable rate. While the initial speeds may not be quite as fast as that offered by the cable companies, you do not share the bandwidth with surrounding homes or businesses as this service is provided over your existing telephone lines. The download speeds are generally not as fast as those offered by the cable companies as well and upload speeds are considerably slower. DSL solutions are also limited by the distance between your business and your provider’s central office. The further away you are from your provider, the slower the connection may be. If your business is located in a very rural area, this may not be a good solution for you. While unlike cable customers sharing bandwidth with the neighborhood, you do have distance limitations.
Here is something else to think about… what about redundancy and 100% uptime for your company? If this is a major concern to your business, how about combining some of these services to ensure you never lose your connection? There are various solutions available to you here where you can have both a T1 and a cable or DSL connection linked together. In the event one service fails, the other simply picks up the traffic and your company can conduct business-as-usual without interruption.
These are just a few of the options to choose from for your business’ broadband connectivity. There are others available to you as well such as wireless and satellite solutions. As you can see, there are many things to take into consideration prior to choosing a broadband company for your business needs. While the explanations above are fairly easy to understand and may make sense to you, it would be in your best interest to consult with experts in this area in order to make the most efficient and cost-effective decision. At Teleco South Florida, we specialize in this area and are familiar with all the various solutions available to you.