Not having an internet connection in 2018 is like having no gas, water or electricity to the building. In fact, I think we would cope better if the gas, water or electric did go off rather than if the internet went off!
Perhaps as a business (or a home) we should give more thought to our links to the internet. Not just at how many squillion megabits per second a provider claims to give you, but who they are, what type of line you are getting for your money, (and here’s the biggy!), what happens when things go wrong?
Very broadly speaking, there are 3 types of internet connection out there. Internet for homes, small to medium businesses and then enterprise level lines. Internet for homes tends to get (give or take) the same speed as connections intended for small to medium business, using either ADSL (traditional broadband) or VDSL (what we all know as fibre broadband). The speed of this broadband can vary significantly depending on location, provider, population density, time of day, type of traffic, and the quality of the wire fed into your building.
Enterprise level lines take all these unknowns out of the equation, and then on top of that, they are topped up with excellent service level agreements, synchronous speeds (same upload as download) and very low latency (the time it takes for web traffic to reach its destination and typically measured in milliseconds). As you may expect, the price tag for one of these fan-dangled lines can be significantly more than you’re paying now. But before you’re put off, just consider what you put through your internet such as browsing, e-mails, remote access, BACs payments, vehicle tracking, carrier software, incoming web orders. And with this in mind, just think how a fast, clean and reliable line would benefit your business when you consider any downtime, limited bandwidth and anyone’s poor experience, especially remote access. We see more and more organisations taking all these factors into account as well as removing their ISDN lines (either by converting their traditional phone system or migrating to a new cloud phone system) to justify the extra cost.
Nest to consider is, what do you do if the worst happens? The internet does go off! It really does pay to think “what if”, before an outage to your internet should occur. A number of organisations have a second line that is never used, but it is always ready to go should the first one fail. Can you redirect your e-mails or are they in the cloud so your staff can use smartphones instead to access them? Do you have any manual procedures in place, in case you cannot arrange collections and deliveries with your carrier using the internet? Can you pay your staff without an internet connection? How can your remote workers continue?
Internet is an amazing creation, the underlying infrastructure is evolving at an alarming rate with heavy investment from the government and, on the whole, problems rarely happen. But when they do, it puts enormous amounts of pressure on a business and its staff which is why it is worth these extra considerations.