2 months ago
In the modern age, the majority of businesses across the UK are at least partly dependent on digital ways of working. For this reason, a fast and reliable internet connection is usually pretty high on the list of priorities for SMEs. Broadband providers now offer highspeed, superfast, ultrafast… But how do you know what level of speed you need?
To decide what broadband speed you require, you first need to understand the connection types. If you pay for business broadband, your connection will arrive via an FTTC or FTTP network. Fibre To The Cabinet broadband is a connection method where fibre optic cables carry the signal from the exchange to a roadside cabinet. The conventional copper phone lines then distribute broadband services from the cabinet to residential areas and businesses.
The dependability of FTTC service generally hinges on your Internet Service Provider (ISP) but provides consistent and reasonable connection speeds. However, since FTTC broadband utilises older copper wire infrastructures, speed can drop during peak times when bandwidth is limited.
On the other hand, fibre optic cables extending directly from your local exchange to your premises could provide your internet connection via FTTP. Unlike broadband, which relies on copper cables, full fibre offers notably superior and steady speeds. Fibre-optic cables are also more durable than copper, making them less likely to require costly maintenance.
Leased Lines are another type of FTTP connection wherein your company rents a dedicated line rather than sharing bandwidth with your neighbours. Leased Lines offer increased reliability and superior customer support but can be costly. To find out more about Leased Lines, click the button below.
Now you’ve learnt about broadband types, the next step is to understand speeds and how they’re typically broken down into categories by providers.
The lowest speed available is ideal for those who just want to browse the internet and send a few emails with up to 8 Mbps. Its narrow bandwidth can only handle 1-2 users at a time, so small households usually choose it. If your small business can operate on this level of connection, it will be your most cost-effective option by a distance.
A highspeed broadband connection enables up to 24 Mbps speeds, which can be helpful for downloading large files. The bandwidth can accommodate 3-5 users, making it suitable for families or small teams.
Up to 80 Mbps speeds are referred to as superfast broadband. This type of connection makes file sharing and video streaming are made much easier, and up to 5-10 users can be supported.
If you want seamless streaming, cloud-based working and heavy online backups, ultrafast broadband is your best bet at 330 Mbps. It also has the power to get 10-25 users online.
This type of connection offers unrivalled speed (up to 1 Gbps) and bandwidth because you pay for exclusive use. This is the favoured option for growing business premises with 25+ users that need lightning-fast, trustworthy broadband.
Now, it’s time to step back and evaluate your specific requirements. The broadband speed that best suits your business will depend on various factors. By conducting a thorough assessment, you can make an informed decision that aligns perfectly with your operational needs.
Consider the number of employees who rely on your broadband connection. Larger teams may require higher speeds to prevent bandwidth congestion and maintain efficient workflows. If your SME is expanding, it's important to account for potential growth at this stage.
Think about the nature of the tasks your employees perform online. Basic web browsing and email correspondence require less bandwidth than data-intensive activities such as video calling, large file transfers or using cloud-based apps.
Identify when your business experiences peak usage. For example, if everyone is online at the start of the workday, your broadband should be able to handle this surge in demand without noticeable lag or a drop-off in speed.
Consider your data security requirements, too. If your business deals with sensitive information, you may need to invest in a more secure and potentially faster broadband connection to protect your data.
Finally, you should factor in your budget constraints. While faster speeds offer advantages, they inevitably come with a bigger price tag. Find a balance between your requirements and good value for money to ensure your broadband is cost-effective.
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