Business fibre is largely the same as home fibre, meaning you access the internet through a fixed line that connects to a router in your office(s). The main difference between home fibre and business fibre is around usage patterns and service expectations. Residential connections are mostly shared. So, many houses will connect to a single connection gateway, whereas a business fibre connection is normally direct to the business. It would be too costly for companies to run residential fibre services if every single home had its own dedicated connection “gateway”.
There is often a view that business fibre is more expensive than residential fibre. The reality is that there are differences in prices, but for some very good reasons. You can read more about the price differential and the reasons for them in our article why is business fibre so much more expensive than home fibre.
Fibre connection speeds for business
Think about the difference between residential and business fibre for a minute. In a domestic setting it is more common that the users (on average) download data in greater volumes than they upload. Watching movies, streaming music and so on. In a business environment it is generally more likely that upload and download are of more equal importance. For example, you would likely equally download attachments or upload documents for sharing and collaboration in a work environment.
In addition to upload and download patterns a business will generally have a requirement to have a more consistent upload and download pattern. At home it is generally more likely that evenings would have heavier usage requirements as this is when people consume entertainment. Of course, the lines between work and home usage are blurring due to the rapid adoption of working from home. But even so, generally the same patterns apply as an office will typically have many users not just a few.
What are fibre connection speeds?
So, then the question becomes how fast a connection speed does my business need?
The reality is that all businesses require a fast and reliable data connection to operate efficiently regardless of industry sector or business size. And all businesses need to ensure consistency of service to avoid costly outages.
Let’s start with the basics. Fibre cables transfer data extremely fast and that is measured in Mbps or Mega Bits Per Second. So 10Mbps is ten million bits per second.
Connection speeds are often expressed as a number like this 5/1Mbps. This means that the download speed (the first number) is 5 megabits per second. The second number 1 is the upload speed. In this example a 10MB file can be downloaded in +/- 5 seconds and uploaded in 10 seconds. These numbers are of course indicative, there will always be some variations, depending on the demands being placed by multiple users (as one example) at any given time.
What factors impact your choice of speed or package?
There are several factors that will determine what choice of speed (or package) is suitable for your business, some of these include:
- How many people will be connected (and in what usage pattern). All at the same time or in stages by time of day or day of the week. This can vary massively by business sector
- What types of downloads will occur? Is it just emails and transactional data, with a high frequency of sending/receiving, or is it design files or videos that may have very large file sizes but a lower frequency of sending?
- The type of connected equipment (desktop, mobile, tablet, servers) and volume of devices needing to make a connection
- And of course, what service providers are actually operating in your business locations?
There are no hard and fast rules here but let’s look at an example such as an advertising agency. Let’s start with a small design shop that has 5 employees that download and upload large graphic and video files. In this example it’s likely that your minimum requirement would be a 30 Mbps line. A larger agency with 50+ employees with heavy data usage would more than likely need 100Mbps. The most important thing here is to actually ask your service provider for advice on what you require.
No matter what size business or usage patterns, uptime and a tight service level agreement will be key to choosing the right provider. Ask your potential ISP what guarantees they have on uptime and what service level agreements are in place should there be an outage or a deterioration in speed or reliability of service. They should be able to send you a clear guide without any hesitation.
Another important consideration is that of flexibility. Your usage demands may vary over time as your business grows. If your data requirements change upwards or downwards, what would that mean to your chosen package? Would you have the ability “to flex” to a new package without the need to start a new contract from scratch? These are the things to consider and are the questions to ask before deciding on your service provider.
Mytelnet offers flexible business fibre packages to suit your needs. In addition, we can offer LTE as a failover and backup solution. But the real power of data and connectivity is how it can make your business more efficient and profitable. To find out more about our business fibre services contact us and be a part of the business communication revolution.