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Ethernet Broadband Business Bandwidth
Business bandwidth performance and reliability advantages are affordable with Ethernet services.

By: John Shepler

When we think of broadband, what generally comes to mind is DSL, Cable Internet or cellular wireless services. But these are light duty or consumer-grade bandwidth services. Why might you become frustrated with such broadband services in business and is there an attractive alternative?

Limits to 3G and 4G Bandwidth
First, let’s take cellular wireless. It goes by the name 3G and, increasingly, 4G. The problem with both 3G and 4G coming from cell towers is that there is a very limited amount of bandwidth available and it has to be fairly apportioned to all the users who want it.

Smartphones gobble up bandwidth at an eye-popping rate. Get enough smartphones or netbook aircards in a particular area and the whole network can be brought to its knees. That’s why most carriers now have monthly bandwidth limits with steep overage penalties. Satellite and some 4G carriers take a different approach. Instead of charging for overage, they throttle down bandwidth for heavy users. If you use too much in a given period, they slow down your access to give others a chance.

While out and about, cellular broadband may be your best bet simply because service is so readily available compared to everything else. If the cells are too congested, you can find a WiFi hotspot and likely get better throughput there.

Fixed Wireless For Business
If you want or need wireless broadband service for an office with multiple users, consider a fixed wireless option designed for business. They’re mostly available in large metropolitan areas. If you can get this service, you’ll be hooked up quickly and have generous amounts of bandwidth at your disposal. An outdoor antenna is installed on your building to a strong signal for reliable service.

Why DSL & Cable Are Lower Cost
DSL and Cable broadband were designed for consumers. The carriers bend over backwards to keep the price low so that most consumers can afford the service. But they achieve that by having everyone share the available bandwidth. Your service might offer “up to 10 Mbps” of download bandwidth. Whether or not you get anywhere near that depends on what your neighbors are doing online. When everybody starts heavily accessing the Internet, the line speed for each user slows and sometimes slows to a crawl.

T1 is Reliable Business Broadband
Businesses that need reliable, dependable and fast Internet service often find themselves frustrated at keeping up productivity on services that cater to people downloading music and videos at home. The classic solution is the T1 line. T1 lines are dedicated, in the sense that you have full use of the available 1.5 Mbps bandwidth. T1 is highly reliable, gets fast repair service if anything ever does go wrong and is “unlimited” in that you can run it full speed 24/7 all month. If you need more bandwidth, you can “bond” more T1 lines up to about 10 Mbps both upload and download.

The one thing that makes businesses sometimes hesitate at installing one or more T1 lines is that the cost is several times what you pay for those consumer services. Even though the cost is well worth it when you consider the lost business or productivity that results from flaky Internet service, there is now an even better option for business use. That service is Ethernet broadband.

More Mbps or Less Money With Ethernet
Ethernet broadband is a high speed dedicated wireline service that can be provided to your business location on either copper wiring or fiber optic cable, depending on bandwidth. Popular speed options are 3 and 10 Mbps for smaller businesses, 100 to 1000 Mbps for medium size operations, and 1 Gbps and up for large corporations. Your line speed is scalable, so you can generally have it increased up to the full capacity of the installed port with only a phone call to your provider.

Best of all, Ethernet is often the best value for your broadband dollar. A 3 Mbps Ethernet connection is often about the same price as a 1.5 Mbps T1 line. A 10 Mbps Ethernet service is easily affordable by most businesses.

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