From Wall Street to Main Street businesses rely on high-speed Internet to meet the technology expectations of both their customers and employees.
“Let’s take a moment to think about our workdays. How often do we check emails, download documents, send files, attend video conference calls, visit vendor websites, or upload data to cloud-based storage?” asks David Arvig in the Minneapolist/St. Paul Business Journal. “The Internet is driving all of those processes, making broadband our most important communication and information tool.”
Speed Matters to Your Clients and Customers
How important is Internet selection for your business? HubSpot found that 82 percent of customers want an immediate response to a sales or marketing question, and 90 percent want an immediate response to customer support issues.
“A business’ broadband platform makes a difference on whether a company can keep up with customer demands, compete in their markets and stay relevant,” writes Arvig. “Speed matters to your clients and customers.”
For many businesses the answer is to embrace fiber Internet which can easily offer speeds of 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) or 100000 megabits per second (Mbps). To put these numbers into perspective, the current FCC standard to qualify as broadband service is 25 Mbps for downloading and 3 Mbps.
Digital Divide Leaves Some in a Dial-Up Mode
The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently reported to Congress on broadband in the context of small business.
The GAO research found that local pharmacies to the rural farmland, high-speed Internet was needed to keep up with the flow of business.
“A 2019 USDA report on rural broadband and agriculture stated that, as technology advances and volumes of data needed to manage agriculture production grow, speeds in excess of 25/3 Mbps with more equal download and upload speeds will likely be necessary,” the GAO said.
GAO says the current 25/3 Mbps was likely too slow to meet many small businesses speed needs in 2021 and beyond. GAO illustrated how speed makes a difference in what business can be accomplished according to Internet set-up:
Basic Business Internet
- Business email address
- Website without e-commerce capabilities
- Limited social media
Improved to Intermediate Faster Business Broadband Internet
- Conducts Internet-based video and voice calls
- Website with e-commerce capabilities
- Greater use of social media
Improved to Advanced Fastest Business Broadband Internet
- Consumer engagement via mobile app
- Business analyzes website data for trends
- Uses sophisticated online marketing tools for advertising
“While most small businesses likely use a mobile device—i.e., a cell phone—with Internet connectivity to support their business activities, they also likely need faster and more reliable fixed broadband access for day-to-day business operations, such as managing their websites and cloud-based software,” concluded the GAO.
Problem can be acute for small businesses, especially in rural areas:
- 2018 Google/Research Now found that 8 percent of small businesses selected “poor Internet access” as a barrier to improving digital engagement.
- 2019 Amazon and U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center/Ipsos found that 20 percent of rural small businesses do not use broadband and 5 percent use dial-up Internet access.
- 2020 National Federation of Independent Business found that 8.7 percent responded that access to high-speed Internet was a critical problem for them.
5 Reasons to Invest in Fiber Optic Internet
Even those business owners that have heard about the arguments for switching to high-speed fiber – such as the speed, bandwidth, security, scalability, and reliability – may be surprised to learn of the other benefits of fiber Internet such as these five:
- No Throttling: Fiber Internet can deliver your business without bandwidth limits. If your business is using a cable provider or residential Internet service you may be hit with a cap on bandwidth, called throttling. This will limit the bandwidth available to you at certain times. Most fiber networks have the capability to bust up your bandwidth for a boost when you need it.
- Dedicated Connections: Fiber Internet offers dedicated built-for-business connections. You will not be sharing bandwidth with other users, which happens with cable providers. When your business has shared connections, you risk a slowdown when Internet traffic in your area peaks. Your fiber connection is more secure and reliable since it is dedicated to your business.
- Consistent Signal Strength: Fiber Internet signals remain strong over great distances. Ethernet over copper lines or DSL signals degrade as they move away from the switch. Employees linked between satellite offices will enjoy consistent strong signals when transmitting data back and forth.
- Fiber is Cost Effective: Some businesses may be concerned about the cost to upgrade to fiber Internet, but the long-term benefits make fiber a cost-effective workplace solution. Increased productivity and efficiency along with lower maintenance costs make fiber a great investment. Fiber’s ability to seamlessly handle cloud computing applications adds to your business savings. Fiber, with its unused lines already installed, is ready to expand with your company as it grows.
- Lower Latency: There is so much talk about speed and bandwidth when it comes to fiber Internet, but lower latency may be the unsung hero. Latency describes the delays that happen while processing data over the Internet. Fiber offers lower latency than other Internet options making it the choice as the world moves toward the Internet of Things (IoT) and interconnected devices that will demand real-time data processing. Business benefits of lower latency include:
- Better voice and video quality for VoIP users
- Ability to move more apps and programs to the cloud
- Download and upload large files without disruption
- Improved collaboration between employees
Contact PS Lightwave today to find out how our high-speed fiber Internet network can help your greater Houston area business grow.