Fiber Internet connection, finally affordable for SMBs

Since the early days of Internet technology, most Canadian small businesses have been able to choose to adopt either Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) or Cable for their internet connection.The cost of implementation typically runs as little as $100-$200. Both technologies provide great download speed for Internet browsing and file downloads, however, the upload speed has its limitations.

As business grows and more company staff are working from home or other locations remotely, the need to access files and data from the company’s server increases.  This puts demand on the upload speed of the company’s Internet pipe so that the user can download a file in a timely manner.

Today, DSL and Cable companies have improved their offerings, and are now able to provide a much better Internet download and upload bandwidth.  However, these technologies have two main limitations.  First, the advertised Internet speed is not guaranteed.  Technically they are called burst rates.  For example, if an Internet service provider advertises for 10 Mbps/2 Mbps speed, what it actually means is that speed can be burst up with 10 Mbps download speed and 2 Mbps upload speed. If more people are using the Internet pipe, the speed will drop.

Second, the Service Level Agreement (SLA) is typically 1 to 3 days.  If something were to go wrong with the Internet connection, it may take 1 to 3 days (or longer) to resolve the issue. Most information workers today rely heavily on Internet access. Losing Internet connectivity- even in a short period- can severely impact company’s productivity hence, effecting the bottom line.  Installing a reliable Internet connection has become a priority for many companies.

To combat the limitations of DSL or Cable connections, Fiber Internet connection can be considered as an  alternative to provide a reliable connection. Fiber connections typically offer 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps symmetrical Internet download and upload speed.  The advertised bandwidth speed is also guaranteed.  In addition, the SLA is typically set at 4 hours.  That is, the provider will fix Internet connectivity issues within 4 hours.

Fiber Internet connection has been around for many years now.  With typical monthly fees starting over $1,000/month,  it was not always a popular choice. However since its introduction, many more carriers have entered the market space and prices have dropped substantially.  It’s becoming more affordable for companies who require higher upload speed and reliability.  Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have started to offer Fiber Internet in the $500/month range.  Because of the quality of the connection, companies can also put their phone lines on the same fiber.  With fiber Internet connections in place, companies can purchase Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking lines (digital phone lines) at a much lower rate than traditional phone lines.  If you combine the savings on phone and Internet services, you may find fiber Internet connection attractive and affordable.