- Type of connection
There are two primary types of internet service. Standard and High Availability service. Standard Service includes options like cable and DSL and typically offers higher speeds, but lower quality and reliability of service. This option is significantly cheaper in most cases. The High Availability class of services provides a Service Level Agreement for uptime that usually exceeds 99.99% or approximately 2 hours of downtime per year. The important difference here that you’ll want to take note of is the Service Level Agreement option and how dependent your business is on an internet connection.
- Speed of your connection
Calculating your business’s speed requirements can be complicated, but it’s very important to ensure that you have enough speed for everyday use, including peak times . You don’t want to frustrate users because you’re not paying for enough bandwidth for your office. If your applications are web-based or hosted in the cloud, or you have a VoIP phone system – there is likely higher usage involved and you’ll need to answer these questions to better understand your speed and connection needs to avoid continuity issues for your employees and systems.
- Availability and time frame
While it would be ideal to have access to High Availability Fiber Optic, not every business has this option. Even the availability of cable and DSL internet can be limited in new construction areas where lines of service have yet to be established. In these cases, it may take up to 6 months for construction and installation of service. Be aware of these caveats and start your search well in advance of your move or new construction project.
In cases when the need to be continually connected is extreme and you cannot afford even one or two minutes of downtime, you’ll want to secure some level of redundancy. Redundancy is a failover internet connection that switches in the event your main line has gone down. This is more common with standard internet service, but can be important to have even with High Availability services with SLAs if a business cannot afford a moment of downtime. Being aware of the availability is important, but you can consult a professional to help you determine if your business should consider from redundancy.
- Cost efficiency
High Availability service comes with a high price tag and depending on the types of connections and service area – the price can be significant. As an example, I just worked with a client that was quoted one High Availability fiber connection for $1000 per month for 20MB of service. Conversely, two diverse broadband connections (one cable at 100MB and one Broadband Fiber at 50MB) came in at only $400 per month – more speed, better availability for less cost. The service costs from your ISP will vary widely depending upon a number of factors, which is one reason you should always engage a professional to assist you in choosing the connection that is best for your business.