Business Broadband and Connectivity Questions Answered

2nd July 2021

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Don’t know your FTTC from your Leased Lines? We’ve got you covered with our answers to some of the most common questions about business connectivity.

 

Elitegroup answer most common questions about business connectivity
 

Businesses have been asking us to help them effectively work from home for many years.   This has been especially relevant, on a wider scale, since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March, 2020.

One of the most common topics for discussion has been the benefits of business broadband over traditional, residential broadband services.

Have you suffered poor performance and drop-outs when you’ve been on video calls?  Had difficulty trying to upload files?  Or do things generally feel sluggish? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’ and you’re debating the benefits of business broadband and other connectivity solutions, read on.

We’ll cruise through the most commonly asked questions and provide the answers!

 

What is Business Broadband?

Business broadband is an internet connectivity solution based on familiar, residential infrastructure, but with enhanced download and upload speeds, increased reliability and technical support, making it more appropriate for home and hybrid working.

 

Is business broadband available for home working?

The simple answer is yes.  With the recent investment in communications infrastructure across the UK, the availability of business broadband is almost ubiquitous.

It is very rare that business broadband is not available, and on those occasions, there are other solutions available to enable a fast, reliable business connection for home users.

If your work requires a strong internet connection for effective collaboration and regular uploading/downloading of data throughout the day – business broadband is definitely a worthwhile investment.

 

Can I use Wi-Fi with business broadband?

Yes, however, the usual limitations around the strength of the Wi-Fi signal within your home do still apply.  A hard-wired connection will always provide more reliability and allow you to take maximum advantage of your business broadband.

 

What is Ethernet?

Ethernet (or protocol 802.3, if we’re being very technical) is the standard way of connecting computers on a network via a wired connection. As it is a wired connection, obviously a cable is required to connect your device to the network, unlike Wi-Fi, which is a wireless connection. When it comes to ethernet solutions for businesses, they can provide reliable connections that are cost-effective and simple to set up compared with some other connectivity solutions.

 

Is Ethernet Better Than Wi-Fi?

With ethernet solutions, your device is physically plugged into a network, so you’re not vulnerable to interference issues, like you are with Wi-Fi, which relies on signals. This means you are less likely to experience slowdowns or disconnections. You also have more control when it comes to security as, again, because it is a wired connection, you can stipulate who is connected to your network at any time.

However, although ethernet solutions can be faster than broadband and can provide a reliable and secure connection, they’re not really the answer for businesses with remote/hybrid workers who are struggling with connectivity issues. Unless you plan on unravelling miles of cable to hook your team’s devices to the business’s ethernet network, that is – we wouldn’t recommend this!

In short, within a building, yes Ethernet may be better than traditional broadband in terms of reliable speeds and if your business doesn’t need to connect any other devices to the internet. Remember, the device needs to be connected to the network via a cable. There’s barely enough room for a headphone jack on some mobile devices, let alone an ethernet port, so if you’re needing to connect devices other than a PC/laptop to the internet, ethernet may not be the answer! Furthermore, if many of your staff are going to be working from home or a mixture of the office and remote, business broadband may be a better solution for you.

 

How fast is Fibre Broadband?

In a nutshell, fibre broadband is quicker and more reliable than standard broadband. Most of the UK’s fibre broadband is provided as FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet).  FTTC could be considered a competitive, ‘middle of the road’ solution which utilises both fibre and copper.  It will give you greater bandwidth and reliability than traditional broadband and has a large geographic footprint, so is easily accessible.

However, FTTC is not the only form of broadband connection. FTTP (Fibre to the Premises), as the name suggests, is a pure fibre connection from the exchange directly to your business. FTTP is the very best business broadband solution available.  It offers fast speeds for both download and upload of data and makes it the most suitable for productive home workers.

 

What is Ethernet Over Fibre to the Cabinet (EoFTTC)?

Ethernet over Fibre to the Cabinet (EoFTTC) is a super-fast ethernet connection which uses the copper infrastructure from your FTTC connection. It promises fast symmetrical upload and download speeds, whilst remaining a cost-effective solution. Most businesses with broadband will be using FTTC connections, so upgrading to EoFTTC is a pretty simple and quick job and, once installed, you can enjoy uncontended bandwidth for a much lower cost compared with traditional ethernet.

 

Is business broadband more secure than residential?

Not necessarily.  Ensuring that you are operating securely is key to adopting successful home working overall.  The security measures and systems which your business employs are therefore of paramount importance.

Up-to-date virus protection, multi-factor authentication and system security policies need to be rolled-out and processes adhered to whilst utilising the latest IT expertise.

 

Is business broadband faster than residential?

In general terms, business broadband is faster than residential broadband. Download speeds may prove relatively similar when receiving emails, downloading files, etc.  However, upload speeds when using business broadband are notably faster.

Business broadband allows increased collaboration across multiple platforms within your business.  This enables more efficient uploading of files, facilitates users holding video conferences and webinars and provides the ability to work seamlessly on shared data, drives and files, securely and productively.

 

How much does business broadband cost?

Business broadband costs vary depending on which solution you choose – generally the old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ applies.  The original ADSL is the cheapest option, however, this will not provide you with the superior speeds and bandwidth you would get if you chose a more advanced option, like FTTC.

 

Why is business broadband more expensive?

Put simply, business broadband is more expensive because you get more from your connectivity package. As well as the faster speeds and greater bandwidth, which we’ve already mentioned, you’ll also get service level agreements (SLAs) and a higher level of specialist technical customer support should anything go wrong with your product.

 

What is the difference between business broadband and leased lines?

The best and most interesting way to demonstrate the difference between business broadband and leased lines is comparing them to swimming pools.

Yes, really.

Think of business broadband as your local leisure centre swimming pool. How much room you get in the pool depends on how many people are there. If the leisure centre is based in a busy area, you’re going to be held up by other people getting in your way and clogging up your path. Kiss goodbye to that personal best lap time if it’s a busy day! If there is an issue within the pool – for example, a plumbing problem – everybody who regularly uses the pool is affected. With the pool being so big, it’s going to take quite a while to get it sorted. This means Janet who does her aquarobics every Thursday, Bill who’s training to do The Great North Swim and little Tilly who is working towards her 100m swim badge are all going to be frustrated for quite a while until the plumbing issue is fixed.

In comparison, leased lines is a privately owned pool. It is a dedicated space that only you have access to. Nobody else can get in the pool without your say so, leaving you to whizz through your laps without interruption from other people getting in your way. Have a plumbing issue? No worries. As the pool only belongs to you, rather than a huge leisure centre, it’s a smaller problem and can be fixed quickly, meaning you can dive straight back in before too long.

To place this analogy back into technical terms. With business broadband, you don’t have a dedicated connection and you have to share your bandwidth with other users and therefore, speeds are variable. If something goes wrong, then all of the users on that line will face disruption to their connection and therefore it is a bigger issue that takes longer to repair. Whereas, a leased line is a dedicated connection between the local exchange and your premises – no need to share your bandwidth with anyone else, it’s all yours! This leaves you with an undisturbed connection, outstanding speeds and if disaster strikes with your line, the repair time is far shorter, as the line is yours alone. Connectivity heaven!

 

What is Ethernet First Mile?

Ethernet First Mile essentially bridges the gap between leased lines and broadband. It’s a brilliant solution for small businesses, as it is a lower cost solution compared with broadband and leased lines, yet can provide speeds of up to 20Mbps! Similar to leased lines, you don’t have to contend with other users for bandwidth (remember that pool analogy? The pool is all yours!), which provides consistent speeds and similar to EoFTTC, Ethernet First Mile uses existing infrastructure which keeps ensures lower costs and a simple setup.

 

Which broadband is best for my business?

At Elite Group, our consultative approach means that we can identify the best business broadband and connectivity  solution for your needs.  But that’s not all! We can provide you with an overall solution that, not only gives you the best business broadband deal, but also your complete business communications solution, including your IT and phone system – all in one package.  This streamlines your technology, as we take care of all your communications needs in one place – one contract and one company to phone when you need help.

Get in touch with us today for a friendly chat and we can discuss what might work best for you and your business.

 

Elite Group is one of the UK’s leading unified communication providers, supplying reliable and professional IT and unified communication services to organisations seeking Business MobileCloudNetworkingConnectivity, and Telephony solutions.

For more information on how Elite Group can power your unified communication solutions,  call us or request a quote today.