As startups become established SMEs, they quickly become content hungry machines. Their connectivity requirements become far more significant, especially if they switch to Cloud-based applications. By accessing the Cloud, SMEs can leverage world-class software and tools that were previously too expensive to even consider, on a consumption basis.
In addition, they no longer have to shoulder the massive cost of buying and having an on premise server and PBX, for example. Yet there is always a flipside, and in this case, it means that SMEs will be uploading and downloading far more data than ever before. And without first class connectivity, the new system will not provide maximum benefits – cloud applications will slow and will be ineffective.
Fortunately, we have entered the age of Fibre to the Business (FTTB), which provides an end-to-end fibre connection from the provider to the business user. It offers high-speed, lowly contended local and international access at reasonable prices. For SMEs looking to truly leverage the opportunities that Cloud applications present, FTTB is the most direct route to Internet happiness – and ultimately, business growth.
What about ADSL, we hear? Put simply, ADSL does not compare in terms of the capacity, speed and reliability that fibre offers. FTTB is an efficient new infrastructure that savvy, future-focused businesses are embracing.
In some areas where fibre saturation has hit a critical mass, prices are becoming so competitive that an entry level fibre service can often be purchased for the same price as ADSL.
By embracing FTTB, users can converge voice, video, internet, private network and video-on-demand services on the same network, and remove their reliance on old PSTN infrastructure.
In short, FTTB enables SMEs to work more efficiently, while also cutting costs. Businesses can become more innovative with their workflows, allowing staff to video conference or collaborate in real time.
When making the transition to FTTB, there are a few considerations that SMEs should take into account:
- ADSL cannot be compared with fibre Mbps for Mbps because the contention ratios and general reliability differs. i.e. a 2Mbps fibre service could deliver better performance than a 10Mbps ADSL service.
- Consider the length of the contract – we do not recommend a contract longer than two years. Prices are dropping, so stay as flexible as possible when contracting with networks.
- Take notice of the termination clause – you preferably want a short termination period – and look out for automatic renewals!
- Make sure of the installation lead time.
- Don’t cancel your ADSL service too soon! Rather be sure that the fibre service is up and running before you cancel your ADSL – this means you will have to overlap services for a month or two, but it’s worth it!
- Look out for the “bursting” feature that allows you to scale up your bandwidth usage temporarily.
- Make sure you understand the contention ratio of the service, i.e. the number of subscribers you’ll be sharing the broadband capacity with.
Glossary of terms:
- Contention ratio: ISPs offer various contention ratios, for example 50:1 or 20:1. This is the number of people you’ll be sharing the connection infrastructure with. A 50:1 contention ratio means that the maximum number of people you potentially could be sharing the connection with is 49. The higher the contention ratio, the more economical the broadband package is likely to be and the greater the number of users that may be using the actual bandwidth at any one time. This means a reduction in the effective bandwidth offered, particularly at peak times. The contention ratio is an important factor to consider in terms of the quality and speed of the broadband package you select.