In today’s marketplace, high-speed internet is as vital to a company’s operation as electricity and phone service. However, though the need for quality data connectivity is obvious, it can be difficult for a small business to understand how much bandwidth they’ll need to succeed. To answer that question, owners must first know what their current usage levels are and what they might be in the future.
To determine an organization’s usage levels, a few factors have to be considered. The first is the number of employees and smart devices. As MDSi notes, a small company with three employees won’t require as robust a connection as an office with 50 employees. And a café that needs an Ethernet dedicated connection for its terminals and computers, plus secure Wi-Fi for dozens of customers, will need an even more robust connection. Small companies with one to five employees would be well served by a connection speed of 25 Mbps.
It’s also important to consider how much bandwidth a company needs based on its daily operations. For example, an organization that largely uses its internet for web browsing and emailing can probably get by with a 25 Mbps starter package. However, if its operations involve VoIP phone service, heavy music and video streaming, and lots of cloud-based solutions, a 75 Mbps business connection would be ideal.
Another important factor to consider is the consistency of the internet connection. An organization’s ability to make sales, connect with vendors and interact with consumers can be severely compromised by a sluggish or intermittent data connection. As an example, if a small business sends out a rich-media email blast, it might experience a big drop in bandwidth while those messages are sent out. Consequently, it’s important to go with an internet service provider (ISP) that offers robust, no cap data speeds and 24/7 customer support to handle any downtime issues quickly and effectively.
The Ponemon Institute recently reported that cyberattacks on small businesses have increased from 55 percent in 2016 to 61 percent in 2017. With data breaches on the rise, owners should work with ISPs that have the tools to protect their digital infrastructure. At the bare minimum, a quality business ISP should offer Distributed Denial of Service Mitigation and 24/7 security monitoring.
Lastly, it’s important to partner with an ISP that can handle a company’s data needs as it grows. While a long-term 25 Mbps contract isn’t a problem when a company is in its early days, it can be an issue when the time comes for it to scale up. Accordingly, business owners will want to work with a provider that offers business internet packages with at least 1Gbps to ensure development won’t be impeded by bandwidth issues.
Comcast Business has the largest IP network in the nation, serving the needs of small business through large enterprise customers. Technology solutions range from fast, reliable Ethernet and Internet connectivity to voice, video, and Managed Solutions. Comcast Business is powered by an advanced Gig-ready network and 24/7 technical support. Learn more at business.comcast.com/minneapolis.
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