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Here we are in 2020 and rubbish broadband is still the most common conversation we have business owners. Why is that?
Even as the deployment of Fibre broadband (FTTC) expands, many business owners are still left frustrated with the state of their business internet connection, what can you do, if anything?
Well, there are a few of things to remember. FTTC was devised as a residential product so you won’t find it available on many larger industrial areas. If you’re on a smaller industrial area surrounded by residential property then you might be lucky, but if you don’t have it by now, don’t expect it to arrive any time soon.
Remember top speed is the sexy part, but it’s not even half the story, stability is far more important. Broadband by its very nature is a flaky service, IT WILL drop out multiple times a day, what you’re using it for will determine if you notice those drops or not. If you just use email and web services you probably won’t even notice it dropping, if you’re using more sensitive applications like VoIP and Video conferencing you probably will.
All Roads Lead To Rome (well mostly). If you’ve got a poor connection from one suppler, just changing to another won’t necessarily improve the connection. Like if you change gas supplier, it’s still the same gas coming to you down the same pipe, internet is the same. Virtually all providers use Openreach for most of their infrastructure links. If you’re at the end of a long line, you have a tree rubbing an overhead cable or a joint box that floods, getting your bill from another provider won’t improve things.
One thing you can look out for is contention ratio. That’s is the number of users a supplier will try and squeeze on their connection at any one time. The higher the contention ratio, the cheaper the service will be, but the more strain the service will be under so you will experience bigger drops in speed at busy times and more random disconnections. Have you seen those adverts on TV where they offer you superfast internet for tuppence a month? That’s how they do it. Aim for a service of 20:1 or 50:1 at the most, some of those cheaper ones are 100 or even 200:1
And even if you do manage to find yourself a low contention, stable, fast broadband connection remember it’s still broadband, it is still an inherently unstable product and if you do have an issue you will still have the standard SLA to be guided by although improved SLAs are available without them you could be looking at a 40 working hour resolution from Openreach so think carefully if you’d be OK for a working week without an internet connection.
If internet is a business essential then it’s probably time to bite the bullet and upgrade to a fibre leased line. A dedicated service where you pay for exactly the service you need and that speed is guaranteed. Yes it’s more expensive, of course it is, but when you offset all your existing services that you’ll be able to cancel, the upgrade isn’t that much. And remember 10 years ago when your phone bill was twice what it is now? It’s probably less than that.
We’re now installing fibre leased lines into very small business, one and two person offices, even to homes, who understand how important a stable connection is. Get in touch if you’d like a quote.