Is your business growing? There are a few ways you can tell.
Firstly, there are a lot more people in your office than there were when you started the company.
Secondly, your employees are using applications that require a lot of power from the internet.
And thirdly, working without the internet - for even a couple of hours - is impossible.
While this growth is great, you may now be finding that your connection isn’t as reliable as it used to be.
That means it’s time to upgrade your broadband service to something more powerful.
We’ll be covering the signs in more detail a bit later. To start with, let’s look at why your connection may no longer be working for you.
Broadband Was Fine. Until Now …
Because of its affordable cost and widespread availability, you probably took out an asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) broadband connection when you started your business. Or ADSL2+, a slightly upgraded version.
Using copper telephone wires, this supplies an internet connection from a telephone exchange to your office.
When you bought it, your supplier probably said it could provide you with download speeds of up to 24 megabytes per second (Mbps), and upload speeds of 1Mbps.
Which isn’t bad on paper.
But in reality, you need to be close to your telephone exchange in order to get these speeds. If you’re far away, your speeds will be slower than what you were promised.
So with a 24Mbps download speed, you’re more likely to be getting 21Mbps or less. And a 1Mbps upload speed is more likely to be giving you 800 kilobytes per second (Kbps) or less.
But that didn't matter. You could still use the internet for what you needed to do. Until now …
And on top of that, there are a few more technical limits that have started getting in the way.
Your connection is plugged into the telephone line. So are many others, and they’re all fighting for control over who gets the most power. This is what’s known as being on a contended network.
When lots of people use the internet at the same time, this can slow down your connection. This won’t be a problem if you’re in a rural area with only a few other businesses.
But if you work in a big city, it can seriously impact your internet’s reliability. For a growing company, that’s not a good thing.
And there are probably even more issues that you’re now facing. Things that you were perfectly happy to deal with when you first bought your connection, but are no longer bearable:
- Latency. The time it takes for something to respond. The higher this is, the longer you’ll be waiting. On broadband, it’s high.
- Scalability. How easily you can make changes to your bandwidth. Not many broadband packages are that flexible anymore. So you might find yourself unable to change your capacity when you’re needing more.
- Jitter. How reliable your connection is during audio and video calls. Like latency, if this is high then the less reliable it is. And on broadband, it’s high too.
- Service level agreement (SLA). This determines how committed your provider is to keeping your internet running at all times. On broadband, rates are usually around 95%.
That might sound good, but the response times to an outage may vary. This could range from the same day to up to 48 hours later.
3 Signs You Can’t Depend on Broadband Anymore
The sure-fire way to know that’s it’s time to upgrade your broadband connection is by looking for these 3 signs in your company. All of the technical factors we’ve just mentioned will have an influence on them.
Your business network has more than 10 users
In the early days of your business, it was probably just you and a few others. Your connection could supply each of you with a decent enough connection.
But as your numbers increased, your internet speed and reliability became less dependable.
And you can’t wait for it to keep up with you.
You’re using intensive applications or sending large files
Intensive applications will most likely require the cloud. Which in itself needs a powerful internet connection to support it.
Sending audio, video and graphics files also puts a lot of strain on a connection. Broadband isn’t exactly equipped for this.
Working without the internet, for any amount of time, is impossible
We know how silly this one sounds. Who doesn’t use the internet every day? But at some point in time, it’s likely that you’ll suffer an outage. The real question is, how long can you last without it?
You might find there are some things you can do without it, at least in the short-term. But if not, then waiting hours for your provider’s SLA won’t be good enough for you.
If any of the above situations sound familiar, then it’s time to upgrade your internet connection.
It’s Time for a Leased Line
Like broadband, a leased line can also offer you a high-speed internet connection. But unlike the latter, the speeds you’re promised are (almost) always what you’ll get.
That’s because they use uncontended networks, which are the opposite of contended networks. Your connection isn’t fighting with others for control. The internet is supplied directly to you, with no outside interference to slow you down.
Additionally, you’ll get matching upload and download speeds. If you have a connection with 50Mbps, this will apply to both.
There’s a much bigger range of speeds available on a leased line. They can range from 10Mbps to 1 gigabyte per second (Gbps). And they’re often flexible, so if you’re using 20Mbps but find yourself needing more bandwidth, you can get it easily.
Leased lines also use more reliable and stable technology than ADSL. Fibre optic cable is laid underground, which is highly resistant against electrical interference.
Broadband is great for small businesses with a limited number of users and that could, if they absolutely had to, work without the internet for a small period of time.
But we know the point of every business is to grow. And when you do, you might find that your once-dependable connection is no longer that.
There are usually 3 key signs that tell you this is the case:
- There are 10 or more people using the internet at any given time
- They use intense applications, or share large files, every day
- There’s absolutely no way you could work without the internet, not even for a little while
And that’s when it’s time to upgrade to a leased line.
For more information about broadband and leased lines, contact us. We’ll advise you on which one is the most appropriate for your business, and when it’s time to make a change.