A beginner’s guide to business connectivity

It’s more vital than ever that businesses need to be able to communicate well with the outside world, whether that’s being able to speak to customers, make sales and provide support, communicate with remote workers, or talk to other branches of the business.

This guide will talk you through what business connectivity is and what your options are for fast, secure and efficient communication.

What is business connectivity?

Business connectivity is the way your business communicates with the world, the way it interacts and connects, both internally and externally, whether that’s with phone systems, mobile devices for remote workers to stay in touch, or simply fast connection to the internet. And in this modern world, it’s something no business can afford to be without.

What types of business connectivity are there?

You’re not stuck with only one type of internet connection for your business. There are different options to choose from depending on what you need and what your budget is:

Business broadband

Business broadband differs from home broadband in several ways, and even if you’re a small company working from home, you really can benefit from choosing business broadband. If home broadband goes down, it might mean you can’t watch a video or send an email, and while annoying, it’s usually nothing vital that can’t wait. If you rely on home broadband for your business, however, your connection going down for hours really can be a disaster. With business broadband, you have top priority tech support, excellent customer service and you can also get a service level agreement that states how fast connection problems will be fixed, even coming down to as little as a couple of hours.

Businesses also rely on being able to do things instantly – to send an important file or email to a priority client, to get a quote across to someone who might buy, and so on. With home broadband, you’re looking at slower broadband at peak times, simply because more people are using it. With business broadband, that doesn’t happen. Your speed stays fast because there’s no contention ratio.

In addition, business broadband comes with vital cyber security features to protect your business against cyber-crime.

You may also be able to get added extras, such as a static IP address, VoIP, domain names, web hosting and more in one package.

Leased lines

With a leased line, you get a private connection that’s exclusively for your business. That means no slow down at peak times, no contention ratio. Just smooth, fast connection that works beautifully. You also get fixed bandwidth so that your upload and download speeds are the same.

The speed with a leased line is higher, and your connection is more reliable and secure than with standard broadband.

Again, you can have a service level agreement stating expected speeds and the speed of repairs, for peace of mind.

Bonded broadband

Bonded broadband is different again from either leased lines or standard business broadband. With bonded broadband, you can have up to four ADSL lines bonded into one connection. This forms one single, much faster connection, but also gives you protection because if one of the ADSL lines goes down, you still have the other three keeping you connected.

If your business relies on VoIP telephony, video calling, and sending large digital files, bonded broadband could be the ideal choice.

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)

With FTTP, your fibre optic internet connection comes straight from your local exchange into your router. This gives you excellent speeds, with a stable, symmetric connection (upload and download speeds are the same). You don’t need a phone line for this type of connection which can save your business money, and FTTP can also be cheaper than other options.

Important things to consider when choosing the right business connectivity

Before choosing any type of internet connection, get clear on what your business actually needs. So many of these options come with extra bells and whistles that you may or may not need, and there’s no point in paying extra and bending your budget for something you’re not going to use.

Look at your service level agreement. Yes, it’s great if you can get your broadband connection fixed within 2 hours, but is the cost of having that service justified? Will you lose so many transactions and customers that it is worth paying the extra, or can you afford repairs to take a little longer without it affecting your business too much?

While you can have a static IP, web hosting, domain names, VoIP, and more from some companies, can you get some of those options cheaper elsewhere if you shop around?

You know your business better than anyone else, so look at your needs, do the sums, and choose the connection that works best for the right price.

Take a good look at your options for business connectivity and pick what’s right for your business. It can be difficult to make a decision because there are so many choices but, really, that’s a good thing. It means you’re not stuck with a connection that just doesn’t work for you. In this connected world, it’s vital to make sure your business is a part of that and able to easily and reliably reach your customers.