How to Scale Your Business Internet Services

business internet

Success for the small to medium-sized business (SMB) can be a double-edged sword. Sure, any additional revenue helps the bottom line and leads to growth and new employees, but when those new hires all get on the office network, response time for everyone gets worse when accessing the Internet. That begs the question, what are the easiest ways to scale business Internet services?

Thankfully, most Internet service providers include a variety of tiers in their business service offerings. In many cases, simply upgrading to a higher service level is all it takes to increase Internet speeds. But there are some other considerations to take into account when scaling a business Internet service.

Make Sure the Internet Connection Type is Appropriate

There are a variety of Internet connection types available for SMBs and sometimes upgrading to a new type with more bandwidth is a requirement. A fiber connection offers the potential for the fastest speeds, but it comes at a premium price. A T1 line features a similar price and performance ratio as fiber, in fact some T1 lines are actually carried on fiber cables. Both of these Internet service types have limited availability in rural areas.

DSL is an attractive option for an Internet connection type for most SMBs, with wide availability in urban areas and more options for access in rural areas compared to T1 and fiber. While it doesn’t provide as much speed and bandwidth as a full T1 line carried on fiber, it can easily serve the needs of most small businesses. Cable offers similar speeds as DSL, with availability widespread in urban and most rural areas.

For many small businesses in the hinterlands, Satellite remains the only option for fast Internet access. Considering its high price, it should only be considered if no other connection type is available. Speed is somewhat limited compared to other options, and sometimes bandwidth gets throttled at certain hours during the day.

What Internet Speed is the Best for a SMB?

For most businesses with less than 10 employees, a 10 Mbps service makes a good starting point, especially if the business isn’t involved in producing rich media content for Internet access or leveraging any Cloud-based service offerings like Software as a Service (SaaS) or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). SMBs with employees spending most of their today accessing Cloud services will probably need to increase Internet speeds sooner than later.

Internet speeds of 45 Mbps and 100 Mbps offer the SMB the option to leverage the operational efficiencies derived from being able to use Cloud-based services. When choosing a business Internet provider, it is important to consider future speed requirements and make sure the selected provider is capable of providing those faster speeds when needed. In many cases, upgrading to a faster speed tier is as simple as contacting the provider and requesting an upgrade, provided the office’s Ethernet network is capable of speeds higher than 10 Mbps. If the internal Ethernet network is limited to 10 Mbps, new network equipment and interface cards will also need to be purchased and installed.

Scaling a SMB’s business Internet service is generally a simple process. In fact, many business providers also offer network equipment services if a business doesn’t have their own internal IT staff. Businesses need to pay attention to their Internet usage and make sure to properly budget for both faster Internet service and new networking equipment if business growth is expected.

Paul Williams

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