Before choosing a business internet provider, you need to evaluate the companies you are considering in the context of whether they are the right fit for your business. Price is important, but the quality and reliability of your internet service are critical if you want to maintain product service and delivery levels.
Here are five key questions you need to ask before choosing a business internet provider.
Question No. 1: Do I need business internet service?
Many companies say that they can provide great internet service. However, when you are evaluating companies, be aware that there are significant differences between internet service providers.
A residential internet service provider may be able to provide good service for an at-home business, but they can’t provide the level of service that a larger business needs. Residential service is typically shared between users. When more people are online, the internet “pipe” can get clogged and slow everyone down. Furthermore, residential providers and local cable companies often throttle bandwidth during peak usage times or when users approach bandwidth caps.
National business internet providers may also share bandwidth with neighbors or lease bandwidth from other companies. While some offer fast download speeds, they don’t provide fast upload speeds. This puts your business internet service at risk.
You need a business internet service that uses dedicated fiber to deliver reliable internet connectivity. Dedicated fiber demands synchronous speeds – identical upload and download speeds – and top-notch service.
Question No. 2: How reliable is business internet service?
Most businesses depend on reliable business internet service to get things done. Therefore, you need a business internet provider that will guarantee reliability. Don’t work with any company that won’t guarantee – in writing – a minimum of “5 nines” (99.999% uptime). This works out to downtime of less than six minutes per year.
Not all business internet providers have 24/7 year-round remote monitoring from a dedicated staff. Look for a company that has network and security experts who are constantly monitoring network traffic. You want to work with a company that is proactive in detecting slowdowns and breaches, rather than one that reacts when a problem occurs.
Look closely at each company’s service-level agreement (SLA). Some companies offer different service tiers with different guarantees, giving you the option to choose the service and response level that best fits your needs. SLAs should cover pricing, service levels, monitoring and more.
Question No. 3: What happens when there is a problem with my business internet service?
When you can’t get a server connection, you can’t respond to customers, employees can’t get their work done, and conducting business quickly becomes a frustrating experience for all.
When your service is interrupted, every minute costs you money. According to Gartner, the average cost of downtime is $5,600 per minute, or more than $300,000 per hour. Downtime cripples productivity and causes you to lose sales. That’s why response time is so crucial.
When you pick up the phone to call for help, you need to know what happens next. Will you be connected to a call center overseas, or halfway across the country? Can you get through to someone or receive an immediate callback? Will you have to wait on hold with thousands of residential customers who are calling at the same time?
There’s a significant difference in customer service and response time between residential and business internet providers. Be sure that the company you work with has a local or regional support team that is staffed 24/7 year-round, and can provide prompt on-site repair service if needed. You should also have an account manager that you can contact for help if you have questions.
Question No. 4: What’s the fastest way to add bandwidth to my business internet?
Even before we heard about coronavirus, the number of people working remotely was increasing. Once the pandemic took hold, millions of additional employees began working from home. That meant more remote logins, virtual private networks (VPNs) and increased demand on bandwidth to access company servers and resources. Many national service providers, local cable companies and residential internet service providers have been unable to accommodate the increased demand.
This unprecedented event illustrates the importance of working with a business internet provider that can quickly add bandwidth to support remote operations and connect employees regardless of their location.
Question No. 5: What other services can I expect with business internet?
Some business internet providers offer other services that you need, such as Voice over Internet Protocol phone service, hosted private branch exchanges, automated backups and off-site data centers. You may be able to save money by bundling services under a single provider. Having a single provider can also save time if there is an outage. We’ve all been in situations where vendors blame each other for a disruption instead of working together to solve the problem.
LOGIX Fiber Networks is Built for Business
LOGIX provides business internet over 265,00 fiber miles connecting more than 10,000 businesses, including some of the biggest companies in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston areas, and provides reliable, lightning-fast internet service with guaranteed 99.999% uptime.