In 2020, business internet data traffic in the U.S. will top 112 billion gigabytes. That equals 1 exabyte. How big is that? The Center for Advanced Computing Research at the California Institute of Technology has said that 5 exabytes would equal all of the words that everyone who’s ever lived or is living have spoken.
With that much data flying around, it’s important to have the right business internet for your organization so that you have the bandwidth to manage it.
Unfortunately, there is no real standard for what defines business-class internet. The government doesn’t regulate the type of services that can be sold as business class. Because of this, what one company calls business-class internet might be drastically different from how another business internet service provider defines it.
What You Need in Business-Class Internet
What’s more important than whether your business internet is called “business-class internet” is whether the class of service you have is the right fit for your business. Here are the things you need to know when choosing business internet for your organization.
If you’ve ever wondered why your home internet connections are often less costly for the same amount of bandwidth, there’s a reason. Residential internet providers and some business internet providers share bandwidth among users. That may be fine when you’re at home and sharing with neighbors. Your internet may become slow during peak times and be throttled during times of high demand. However, it’s a problem for a business.
Sharing impacts performance. It’s measured in what’s called a contention ratio. The typical residential contention ratio is 50-to-1, which means that you’re sharing your internet connection with 49 other users. For basic business internet, you might see a contention ratio of 20-to-1. For business-class internet, you should have a dedicated connection that gives you direct access to the cloud without sharing.
A dedicated fiber connection to a business-class internet provider that maintains its own fiber network and monitors performance 24/7 year-round is best.
Fast, Symmetrical Speeds
Typically, business-class internet providers offer higher speeds and synchronous, or symmetrical, speeds. This means that you have the same speeds for uploads and downloads. Download speed is essential for accessing online content, getting email or streaming content. Upload speeds affect how fast you can upload files or back up data to a cloud server. You need both fast upload and download speeds for resource-intensive activities such as videoconferencing.
Residential service may offer high download speeds but limit upload speeds. Some business internet providers also cap service or slow speeds when you hit predetermined limits.
Business-class internet typically comes with a service-level agreement (SLA) that allows you to choose the level of uptime and service you expect. The best business internet providers offer 99.999% uptime guaranteed in writing. They also provide dedicated account managers and access to business specialists who monitor the network for performance and security 24/7 year-round.
Check your SLA carefully. It will define the relationship between your business and the business internet service provider.
Business-class internet providers offer static Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.
An IP address is the online address of your network. If you have a dynamic IP address, it will change regularly. A static IP address is permanent. Why is this important for your business internet? A static IP makes your network more secure and more reliable. If you have employees who work in different locations or work remotely, a static IP helps them connect across your company network. Also, if you use a virtual private network (VPN), you need a static IP address.
When your internet is down, your productivity grinds to a standstill and your employees and customers are frustrated. With residential, cable or national internet service providers, you might have difficulty contacting someone by phone when there’s a problem. Their call center may be in a different state or even a different country. Response times may also be slow.
There can be significant differences in the levels of customer service. Business-class internet service should provide customer care centers that are nearby and a higher level of responsiveness in case of problems.
LOGIX Fiber Networks – Built for Business
LOGIX provides business-class internet across more than a quarter-million miles of its own dedicated fiber network, which means that you receive reliable, lightning-fast service with guaranteed 99.999% uptime.
As a Texas-based company with local support centers, LOGIX is the preferred business-class internet provider for more than 10,000 businesses, including some of the biggest companies in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston areas.