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When was the last time you looked at the internet connectivity options for your business?
If it’s been a little while, now is a great time to take another look.
Fiber optic internet offers a host of business benefits like greater speed, higher reliability, and lower costs. It’s been around for a few years, but the rollout has been slow. It might not have been available at your physical address the last time you looked.
If you’re still operating on a cable internet connection (or if you aren’t quite sure what kind of business internet connection you’re running), it’s worth taking a look.
Here’s why cable isn’t stable — at least when compared to newer, better fiber optic internet connections for business.
Not All Business Internet Is the Same
It’s important to understand that there’s no one thing meant by the term “business internet.” That term is little more than a marketing device that differentiates between residential and (higher-priced) business accounts — even when a company is offering the same essential quality of service for both!
Not every business internet connection is equally effective. So it’s important to look a little deeper than the business label and understand the type of connection an internet service provider (ISP) is selling.
Understanding the Types of Internet Connections
Before we go into detail about fiber optic internet, we need to define some terms. There are a wide range of service types available depending on the ISPs that serve your location (along with the size and budget of your organization). The relevant ones can be organized by connection types.
Copper and Coaxial Wire Connections
The first generation of high-speed business internet came over copper wire. This is the same exact copper wire that phone signals have transmitted across for decades. DSL and T1 connections fall within the copper wire category.
Coaxial wire connections are nearly as old, transmitting over the same coaxial connection that cable TV signals have transmitted across since the 1980s.
T1 connections are higher cost, higher speed, and higher reliability. Of the three main copper connections, this one is the best choice — but the costs may be prohibitive, and not every ISP will run T1 service to every location.
DSL and cable internet are both extremely common in residential settings, and the business versions aren’t all that different. They may promise higher maximum speeds, but they face a slew of drawbacks that we’ll cover later.
Not to be confused with your in-office Wi-Fi connection, wireless connections refer to a few methods for getting internet to your office building sans wires. Satellite, private cellular networks, and wide-area LAN are a few examples.
These connections essentially serve customers who can’t get wired internet, usually because they operate in a rural location. They’re better than nothing, but you don’t want to choose them if you have another option.
Fiber Optic Connections
The next generation of wired internet access is delivered over fiber optic cables (fiber for short). This light-based transmission protocol offers much higher speeds, greater reliability, and lower long-term costs than legacy formats.
The downside of fiber — at least for now — is that it doesn’t piggyback off a legacy wire, so it requires more granular infrastructure rollout than cable or DSL. But once that infrastructure reaches you, you’ll want to make the switch.
Make sure your internet connection matches your business goals: 9 times out of 10 coaxial cables isn’t enough. Reach out to schedule a free fiber optic internet consultation and plan the next steps for your internet.