For a business operating in today’s world, the Internet is no longer a convenience; it’s a necessary utility as vital as electricity keeping the lights on. Everyday small businesses around the UK switch to internet services to replace traditional services. Conference calls are being replaced with Google Hangouts or Skype calls that put people face to face. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) continues to grow with services like Vonage becoming more popular which replaces traditional phone lines with internet service.
This ever growing reliance on the web has led to multiple ways for your business to become connected. Broadband is the key word when talking about any connection though, however the term I quite broad. Technically, broadband speed internet just has to be faster than a dial-up connection of 56 kbps like we had to rely on in the dark age (the 90s). Below are the main ways to become connected now.
Asymmetric digital subscriber lines use the same telephone wires that a dialup connection does, but they use different frequencies in order to boost the speed of the connection. Since the groundwork for ADSL is already laid out virtually everywhere, it makes it a very widespread and available option for high speed internet connection up to 20mbs in some instances. However, ADSL is primarily used in private residences since the bandwidth can be easily bogged down.
Cable may not be the absolute fastest or cheapest option out there, but it does strike a solid middle ground. It uses the same coaxial cable that cable television comes through so it’s still widely available in many areas, but rural areas may be out of luck. The beefier hardware allows for higher speeds and more bandwidth than ADSL but the price is often higher as well. This is one of the most reliable services at the moment which makes it a popular choice for businesses broadband who can’t afford any downtime.
The latest and greatest thing to come to the web has to be fibre-optic connections. Private companies are working hard to be the first to supply this high speed service in areas because the demand is so high. Google’s fabled gigabyte speed web is run through fibre-optics which goes to show just how fast this can be for large amounts of data which makes it perfect for businesses. This is still being rolled out, but it can be worth it for a business to install their own fibre-optic system in order to prepare, and to even pay a provider to wire out to the businesses location. While it may cost a premium, nothing is currently as fast and as reliable as fibre-optic service.
There are a handful of other services that businesses can use. Wireless, satellite, and even BPL (broadband over power lines) is becoming more common. But wireless and satellite do not offer the reliability that a business needs, and BPL (in my opinion) will be surpassed handily by fibre-optic once it becomes more available.