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Choosing an Internet Provider for Your Business

The Internet has become highly ingrained into today’s businesses. Some business owners equate the need for connectivity, or an internet provider, to electricity and other crucial services. One in three U.S. companies gain revenue from online sales and an even larger number use the Internet for pertinent company activities. These critical activities are enabled or improved by a reliable, high-speed network. Choosing the right network provider for your organization can be integral to your success. This is especially true in industries like healthcare and e-commerce in which the need is mission-critical.

Key elements that a business should consider when choosing an internet provider:

  1. Speed
  2. Reliability
  3. Scalability
  4. Security

Speed

Speed is a high priority consideration for business’ Internet services. In order to determine what speed is necessary for operations, one should look at the following factors for guidance:

  1. Number of employees or users
  2. Type of Industry
  3. Applications used and their data rate requirements

A high-speed connection can be essential for a business. It is also important to find the speed that fits your business needs. According to a McKinsey & Company report, Internet usage has increased productivity and growth by 10 percent for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). For more guidance on speed you can visit our article on fiber optic speeds here.

Reliability

Speed and reliability are interconnected to a quality internet provider. A network should be designed to optimize reliability while minimizing latency. An unreliable infrastructure can cost a company. The average cost for a data center outage alone is nearly $6,000 per minute. Therefore, a network’s architecture should have components like redundant rings to inhibit downtime and outages.

Scalability

Scalability may be heavily influenced by your company’s industry sector. For example, one industry that is likely to have high scalability standards for online services is healthcare – an industry that consumes 30 percent of the world’s data storage.

The demand for big data storage capacity is growing. Today’s network infrastructures will need to evolve to keep up with tomorrow’s new technologies and services. Bandwidth scalability will need to be flexible to continue to meet these needs. When bandwidth scalability is crucial to your organization, an Internet provider with a fiber optic infrastructure is our recommendation. Fiber optic cables allow for extra capacity needed to make real-time bandwidth adjustments.

Security

Data security and privacy are important to every enterprise. Although most data breaches are caused by human error, an infrastructure that does not have the correct security safeguards in place to protect your critical data could result in devastating damage. IBM reported that every week companies face over two million cyber attacks and each breach could cost them over $300,000.

If your organization wants to control its own network but does not have an infrastructure in place to support it, an Internet service provider with dark fiber is the best option. For instance, DQE Communications does not meter its dark fiber services. Our business clients control their data and transmission speeds and only the business has access to its data.

However, if that does not apply to your organization, there are some key security components of a quality Internet service provider’s infrastructure. For instance, multi-layered data infrastructure, private network options, and protected data storage centers are just a few characteristics of a quality provider.

Choosing an Internet provider isn’t like selecting a business card printer or painter for your office. In most cases, the quality of online services influences whether today’s companies thrive or perish. Because we use the Web for so many business functions, make sure you consider these four critical factors when selecting an Internet provider.

Tags: internet provider, internet services, reliability, scalability, security, speed

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