Now more than ever before, businesses and their overall efficiency are dependent on the quality of Internet, voice, and video service their chosen provider can supply. This makes the choice of service provider one that can make or break a small or medium business in today’s economic climate.
Making this situation even more complex is the wide variety and number of providers available that claim to be able to support anything, anywhere! Where is the truth to these claims? How can they be validated?
Regional, national, and international service providers can be found that offer anything from WiMax (great for remote areas with no infrastructure), DSL (good for very small businesses with 2-5 employees), to full T1s that can service a larger facility.
If you plan to deploy an IP phone infrastructure, it is best to choose at least a cable modem 6MB minimum service or a T1. DSL is not usually able to support VoIP (voice-over-IP) telephony, which has a huge cost and service benefit for all levels and sizes for business.
It also makes sense to ask any company vying for your business for at least three references from companies that are as close as possible to your size and number of employees.
Sometimes, the constraints of your building may dictate the service provider you must choose. In some areas of the world, building owners have made “deals” with service providers that preclude other choices. If you are caught into one of these situations, WiMax (wireless broadband) becomes a possibility as it is usually not covered by other contracts. If your area isn’t covered by WiMax either, then you have the unfortunate choice between moving or using the only service provider offered.
Thankfully, the issue most businesses face is too many, rather than too few choices. Many service providers, faced with user churn because there are so many choices for their customers, offer attractive promo deals to potential customers. Be sure to look beyond the immediate benefits of the “deal” to find the best overall package for you and your company.
The best choice for your company will be the provider that offers the bandwidth PLUS SLA (service level agreement) that fits your needs. Remember, bandwidth alone is not enough to ensure clear Internet connections, you also must be wary of oversubscription. If there are too many users of the same “pipe”, delays can result. This may not be serious if you don’t plan to deploy VoIP (voice-over-IP), but can still cause delays in video or file downloads that can be irritating to your employees.
If you want expert advice on whom to choose, why not call network cabling installers? Professionals will assess your unique situation and draw from a wide knowledge bank to recommend the service provider that will meet your needs most cost effectively.
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