Business Broadband FAQ

Business BroadbandBusiness broadband solutions are very different than their residential counterparts for many reasons, and thus you should never take advice or listen to input about a particular offering or market from a source that is not a business user.  Here is what you need to know about business broadband:

Question #1: How is Business Broadband Different Than Residential Broadband?

Answer #1: This is a very good question and the answer is many-fold.  Businesses have very low tolerances for limited performance and down-time, especially since these could literally translate out into dollars and cents.  As a result, business broadband offerings tend to be far more reliable than their residential counterparts.  This is usually accommodated by offering more lines, thicker lines, better hardware, and perhaps even some redundant backup systems that handle failure seamlessly by swapping to backup systems.  The net result is that no matter how you slice it, business broadband rarely goes down.

When business broadband solutions do fail, you can count on far swifter response times.  One of the reasons that this is possible is that businesses are charged a premium in exchange for swifter response from work crews.  Secondly, as previously mentioned it is typical to find failure-resistant backup systems in place and thicker/additional lines that ensure that margins are much greater than they are with residential broadband offerings.  Similarly, there are also options that sometimes monitor network health and more pro-actively address performance issues as they slowly degrade over time before businesses are even aware of them.

Finally, you can also count on faster performance when comparing business grade broadband offerings against their residential counterparts.  This is almost certainly a product of the additional lines and faster, thicker cabling designed to serve more serious consumers.  Of course, with speed goes a reduction or removal of the cap that plagues more home users in most circumstances.

Question #2: Where Can I Shop For Business Broadband?

Answer #2: There are many companies selling business class broadband from one side of the country to the other.  You might want to check your local advertisements to see what is available, but you really should do your due diligence research to discover exactly where is out there and what other businesses are saying about the offerings from any given provider.  Ultimately, you are probably best off shopping for business broadband online in order to save the most money.

Question #3: What is Symmetrical Business Broadband?

Answer #3: Symmetrical broadband is broadband where the ability to send and receive data is equal.  This might seem like an odd consideration, and few even realize that their home broadband is not ‘balanced’ or symmetrical in this way at all.  Despite this lack of general understanding, the fact is that most of us use an asymmetrical form of broadband at home that allows us download at speeds far greater than we can upload out.  Why is this an important consideration for businesses?  Well, it depends on what you are going to do with the broadband at work.  If you will be sending and receiving emails in large numbers, then it would obviously seem like a good idea to balance the two out as much as possible.  If you are planning on browsing, downloading, and other tasks, then you might way to consider an asymmetrical business broadband plan.  If you are going to host a web server or online service, then you might want to have it on its own dedicated line with as much upstream as possible regardless of downstream performance.

Question #4: How Much Business Broadband Performance Do I Need?

Answer #4: The amount of broadband any business will need varies depending on a number of factors.  As a general rule you are better off having a little bit more than you will need during peak usage time (when all the employees are using their stations and working to their full capacity) to have some overhead.  You might want to consider just how much performance each user would use individually in the worst case scenario, add it all up, and then add a few percent extra for overhead and then buy the best business broadband plan that meets or exceeds those needs.  Do not be tempted into buying something that simply comes close or you may end up regretting it later.