Our global business community demands that companies communicate and conduct transactions in the now, and at lightning-fast speeds. But not all Internet access is created equal. If your business has numerous employees or needs a constant, reliable Internet connection for company operations, you need to consider your options for a dedicated Internet provider.
However, just as all Internet access is not the same, all ISPs are not the same. There are a number of factors you should consider when selecting a dedicated Internet provider for your business. We will examine the most important below.
Does Your Business Need a Dedicated Internet Provider?
The first step in this process is to determine if your company actually needs a dedicated Internet provider and connection. The quickest way to find this out is to take a serious look at your current and future IT requirements.
How often are my staff on the Internet, and for what purpose?
If your employees only check email and do occasional web searches (and forays onto Facebook when things are slow), chances are you don’t need dedicated Internet. However, if they are constantly streaming video, audio or video conferencing, or conducting voluminous amounts of transactions or data transfers, then you likely need a dedicated Internet connection.
How are customers interacting with my company over the Internet?
Again, if you only get an occasional email or click on your website, a lesser Internet connection will meet your needs. But if you handle loads of client communications and transactions daily, you definitely need a dedicated Internet connection.
Can I get by with a residential broadband connection?
If your company is small, you might think that saving money with a residential broadband connection is a good choice. Be careful here; some packages prohibit commercial use, while others are unable to sufficient bandwidth and speed to sustain even a small business.
Investigate the Local Dedicated Internet Provider Landscape
If you have determined that you need a dedicated business Internet connection, the next step is to locate and evaluate each dedicated Internet provider in your area. Depending on your location, some options may not be available. In or near large to medium-sized cities, the following options are likely available.
Fiber is the newest and hottest dedicated Internet connection, with super-fast fiber-optic connections and high bandwidth. It is still quite expensive, and in some cases, installation costs to lay the fiber line to your business location will be necessary. Most large cities have a fiber network, but it is rare to nonexistent in outlying areas.
Most dedicated Internet providers offer cable packages to businesses. This is a robust, high-speed connection that is delivered over the cable television lines. Although you may choose a business connection, the outlying network to which your company network is connected can still affect performance.
Many dedicated Internet providers offer a business satellite connection. Installation may be cheaper than fiber or cable, but download speeds are generally slow, even for a business-level connection. And, satellite signals can be affected by weather conditions. If your business is in a rural location, this may be the only high-speed option available.
Fixed wireless establishes a secure, high-speed Internet connection via radio signal. All that is needed is a direct line of sight from your business location to a local radio repeater from the ISP. Your connection is truly secure and not shared by anyone. Bandwidth is scalable to your needs, and installation can be done quickly.
What Does Each Dedicated Internet Provider Actually Provide?
When evaluating each local dedicated Internet provider, go beyond the boilerplate marketing material and research what they actually provide for each price tier. Advertised prices tend to reflect only the most entry-level package of basic services, and are often riddled with hidden conditions.
Always examine the proposed Service Level Agreement (SLA) to learn the actual rules stating how you may use their service, along with performance terms, uptime guarantees, technical support parameters, response time, and compensation arrangements should the provider fail to meet the agreed service level.
Things to look out for include:
- Data caps. What happens if you exceed the data cap?
- Guaranteed uptime. Can they deliver the uptime you require?
- Hardware charges. Does the contract include required hardware?
- Installation. What support is offered to help you set up?
- IP address. If you host a website, mail servers, VPN, web conferencing or other online applications, you need a static IP. Is this included?
- Ongoing technical support. Do business connections include live support? How often?
- Restrictions. Are there any rules on hosting websites or other online services?
- Security. What type of security is provided? What is covered?
A reputable ISP that offers dedicated Internet for business should be a willing consultant, providing the support and information you need to make the best possible decision for your company.
MHO Enterprise Internet
MHO understands that your Internet connection needs to be lightning-fast and reliable without fault. MHO offers white-glove service to ensure that your business enjoys outstanding speeds with no downtime. For the rapid installation and guaranteed reliability you need, MHO Enterprise offers scalable and secure fixed wireless Internet service.
For more help determining your dedicated Internet needs, visit our Internet provider decision tree. And of course, MHO representatives are always happy to answer your questions. Call or contact us online for more information.