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Broadband and connectivity options for larger businesses

We promised in our ‘Small Business Broadband Options’ post that we would explore connectivity options for larger or more established businesses.

That’s exactly what todays post is all about.

We have covered fibre broadband, ADSL, cable, mobile and satellite broadband. Now it’s time to bring out the big guns.

That means:

  • Leased lines
  • Bonded broadband connections
  • Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)
  • Ethernet First Mile
  • MPLS networks

Leased lines

Leased lines are dedicated connections between your premises and the network. Capable of speeds up to 1Gbps (and sometimes beyond), these are ultrafast connections with no traffic shaping or speed limitations.

Leased lines can be expensive but if you need a dedicated connection, want to join offices seamlessly together or other network-intensive tasks, they deliver the speed and security you’re looking for.

Bonded broadband connections

Bonded broadband connections join two or more standard internet connections together to provide faster speeds. They aren’t as common as these other solutions, but are useful in areas without FTTP or other connection types.

Two or more standard lines are installed at the premises and bonded so traffic can use each line as it if were a single connection. It’s not as fast as a leased line but is definitely an option in rural areas or where other solutions wouldn’t work.

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) connections use the same principles as those we discussed last time. A fibre connection laid to the premises to deliver ultrafast connections.

FTTP is capable of 1Gbps speeds and will be dedicated to your business and not shared. Traffic will also be prioritised over residential traffic, which should reduce contention at peak times.

Ethernet First Mile

Ethernet First Mile, EFM, is a hybrid connection type that can use a leased line or even copper line to your premises. Rather than use standard IP, it uses Ethernet to provide fast speeds with minimal outlay.

Ethernet First Mile is capable of up to 20Mbps both up and down and can support most network protocols. It isn’t as fast as other solutions but it is readily available and low cost.

MPLS networks

MPLS networks are another hybrid connection type that can use leased lines, copper pairs, fibre or other physical connection. It uses the Multi Packet Label Switching network protocol to create virtual private networks.

This is a secure and reliable connection that can be used as the basis for SD-WANs.

MPLS can be expensive but we often charge very little or in some cases nothing for it, because if its correctly deployed, it doesn’t take much management. If it does require any support it comes in at a minimal cost.

Other business connectivity options

Businesses can also leverage alternative options, such as satellite broadband and microwave broadband.

These aren’t as fast or as stable as FTTP or a leased line but can serve if you’re not in a fibre area.

Satellite broadband

For rural businesses or those with no fixed line option, satellite broadband can be an effective solution.

Accessed in much the same way as satellite TV, satellite broadband offers speeds from 15Mbps upwards. Contracts usually include speed and data limits but enable rural businesses to access internet as long as there is a clear view of the sky.

Microwave broadband

Microwave broadband works in the same way as WiFi and can also provide broadband options for businesses in rural areas. Coverage is limited but there are a few providers out there that offer this as a service.

It is more expensive than fixed line broadband but requires no cabling or installation of lines.

If you live in a coverage area, it can provide decent speeds of up to 1Gbps, although you have to be very near a transmitter to get that speed!

Until you get to enterprise level and begin exploring ISDN30 and private circuits, these are your main broadband options as a business.

If at all possible, we would recommend FTTP, Fibre To The Premises, as it has the best combination of speed, cost and accessibility.

If FTTP isn’t available in your area, leased lines are probably your next best bet. They are more expensive than fibre but are a lot more accessible and provide the speed you need to compete.

While these are your options now, things are changing. More towns are getting full fibre, Elon Musk is rapidly rolling out his Starlink satellite broadband, Virgin Media is rolling out more cable and smaller enterprises are continually coming up with new and wonderful ways to connect.

Plus, there’s always 4 or 5G if you live in a strong signal area!

So, while fibre isn’t as widespread as we might like, businesses have far more options now than at any time previous. Those options are expanding steadily, so watch this space!

As always, our friendly team are on hand for any help and advice around what’s available in your area, we’re always happy to help and work out the best, most cost-effective options for your needs!

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