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5 Considerations When Choosing a Business ISP

While it’s true that every business may have specific Internet Service needs, there are a few factors that are standard considerations. As business needs continue to evolve, the necessity for reliable business Internet and a service provider who is a true partner cannot be underestimated.

Reliability – Hands down, this is the most crucial factor to consider. Your connection to the world needs to work – particularly when you rely on the Internet to meet your business goals.

One way to ensure the network’s reliability is to review your provider’s Service Level Agreement (SLA). An SLA provides metrics for important factors like availability, latency, and packet loss.

DQE’s SLA provides metrics for the business Internet services that we provide.

We are proud to offer superior reliability – due to several factors. We have a self-healing, fiber optic, ring-based architecture that offers incredible redundancy; in the event of a fiber cut, the network automatically detects and redirects to maintain continuous service.

Additionally, DQE offers a Wireless Backup service that is seamless to install and automatically transitions critical applications.

Flexibility & Adaptability – Nearly every business currently operating, whether a start-up or a multi-million-dollar company, has a growth plan – a road map to increase sales or services and develop new clients. Shouldn’t your reliable business Internet service provider have the flexibility to grow with you, helping you meet your needs?

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Availability – if you are physically growing locations, does your ISP offer service in your expansion areas? DQE has a vast network serving Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Our continually expanding fiber-optic network currently spans over 4,100 miles, 2,500 buildings, 17 data centers, and 120 business parks.
  • A variety of service tiers – what may be ideal for a 15-person office today may need to grow to service multiple offices, high-volume networking hubs, or even advanced manufacturing centers. Each of these situations requires different types of connectivity and service. DQE offers various Internet tiers depending on your business’s scope, the number of employees, and objectives.
  • Bandwidth – ensuring your ISP’s bandwidth can increase as your business develops will ensure seamless growth. Ensuring your ISP offers high bandwidth with low latency is critical.

Security – the need to be vigilant when it comes to the security of your network only continues to increase. Making sure the security of your network and systems requires 24/7 vigilance by your IT Team. However, your ISP can and should play a role in the security of your network.

DQE can boost security through a variety of offerings, including:

  • Metro Ethernet – ethernet with custom E-LINE or E-LAN opportunities, which delivers greater security than an internet-based virtual private network (VPN).
  • DDoS Mitigation – Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are disruptive, more complex, and can potentially compromise business operations. Investing in advanced detection with DDoS Mitigation will allow peace of mind knowing your business can rely on an immediate response team of industry experts.
  • Dark Fiber – we recently shared the differences between Dark and Lit Fiber. With Dark Fiber, you have complete control of bandwidth levels and data transmitted through the network you manage, providing an increased level of security.
  • Cloud Solution – bypass public internet access by directly and securely connecting to top-tier Cloud Service Providers.
  • Guest Wi-Fi – offer customers access to the Internet, particularly one separate from your business’ primary network. Make your guests happy, but also add additional protection for your network.

Speed & Bandwidth – Slow Internet can be just as bad as unreliable Internet. Fast Internet is vital for productivity.

Your ISP can help you determine what level of speed and bandwidth is optimal for your needs. They should also offer a variety of options. For example, DQE provides solutions for small businesses that start at 75Mbps. On the other side of the coin, our more robust business Internet services can deliver speeds up to 10 Gbps. All our services offer symmetrical upload/download speeds.

Customer Service – Support is also the last vital puzzle piece to the overall reliability of your service and your overall satisfaction.

While all service providers generally offer some level of support, the quality, consistency, and availability can vary widely. DQE provides in-house, experienced, and local support 24x7x365, which means you will directly interact with DQE staff.

We also have a local, in-house Network Operations Center (NOC) that continuously monitors our backbone network and is available to provide technical support at any time. Should an issue arise, our network is supported by local service restoration crews.

Depending on the type of business and the various capacities needed, you can see that there is a myriad of factors to consider when choosing a business Internet service provider. Your provider should be willing to work with you to craft a custom package that meets your exact needs. DQE looks forward to speaking with you about how your business can join the region’s fastest, most reliable fiber network. Contact us today!