Signing up for an internet connection may seem viable on paper, especially if you have the best internet provider in your area, which extends their service to business customers. Not all internet service providers that cater to residential subscribers provide the service to small and big organizations also, but those with a nationwide footprint tend to. If an ISP has a broader customer base that includes business subscribers, then the subscription can be a matter of getting in touch with them.
Whether you are looking for an enterprise-grade internet to upgrade the present connection, building out to a new location, or even renewing the present contract, you should consider these things to choose the best internet provider for your needs.
The Type of Internet Connection
There are two main types of internet connection: high-speed or broadband and those categorized under high-availability service. The first category comprises internet connections delivered over cable lines and Digital Subscriber Lines. Both are categorized as high-speed internet and considered always on or available connections. On the other hand, high-availability internet service offers a Service Level Agreement to customers.
With an SLA, an internet service provider aims to guarantee, in contractual terms, uptime that typically exceeds over 99.99 percent or a downtime of around 2 hours a year. The high-availability connections comprise those delivered over older fiber optic lines called T1 and newer fiber optic networks. Most businesses that rely on data a great deal opt for the best internet provider that offers an SLA that guarantees more uptime than even “five nine”.
Note that 99.99 percent uptime can lead to around a second’s downtime a day and close to five minutes a year. So, it is best to choose an ISP that can provide the best possible uptime.
The Speed of the Connection
Figuring out the speed requirements of your business can be tricky, but it is important to make sure that the connection speed is sufficient for daily use, comprising peak usage times like big conference meetings. You do not want to annoy end users just because you are not paying for sufficient bandwidth, so consider the best internet speed for a smooth running of operations.
Modern-day business applications are cloud-hosted or web-based, and some even involve VoIP or IP phone systems. If your business has such high-end applications, necessitating high data consumption, take them into the equation to better understand connection and speed requirements. Opting for a best internet provider for a connection with high bandwidth and SLA can help avoid downtimes or continuity concerns, especially when it comes to using similar applications.
The Availability of Internet Service
While it is advisable to have accesses to an ultra-high speed fiber optic internet, not all businesses have the option to sign up for that. In fact, even the availability of DSL and cable internet can be limited in new construction locations where networks are yet to be built out. In such cases, which coincide with time you are changing the business to a new area, it may even take around six months for an ISP to build out the network. So, make ensure to understand these things while starting the search for an internet service provider, well in advance of the move out to the new site.
In situations when the requirement to be always connected is very high and you cannot even afford a few seconds of downtime a day, it is important to setup failover links. That is important to make sure internet access is not lost to end users in case of events that lead to outages. An example of a failover system is one where wired internet switches to Wi-Fi connection, thus ensuring continuity of use for end users by eliminating a single point of failure.
A router with an inbuilt SIM card used as a failover internet is common with residential internet services, but you can consider a better failover system for your business. Ensuring highly available connection with “five nine” clause mentioned in the SLA is one thing, but to make sure the best possible uptime, get in touch with network professionals to know if your business requires a failover system. Generally, it is more important for businesses that rely on applications that are cloud-based or have a larger requirement for sending voice and data.
The budget is the bottom line to businesses even when it comes to enterprise-grade internet services. Generally, fiber optic is expensive than traditional cable internet connections. If the cost of high availability internet service is more than the set budget, you can instead choose two broadband options, with one being fiber broadband and the other delivered over cable lines. That can be considered if the best internet provider charges a monthly cost for a connection at a specific speed and to a limited number of users or employees.