Shared vs. Dedicated Internet Access—Not all Connections are Created Equally
You’re sitting at your desk, trying to upload an extremely time-sensitive contract into an email, and you see this…
Meanwhile, your coworker Joe in the next room is trying to host a multi-user conference call on your VoIP system, and he hears this….
You can even hear Jamie, down the hall, spewing choice words as she tries to load your company’s online CRM but is deterred by this…
To support the high-demand, high-bandwidth applications that fuel today’s mission-critical business operations, it’s no longer a luxury to have a high-functioning network, it’s a necessity.
So, what causes slow Internet?
Let’s face it, some things in life are just simply out of our control. For example, an extreme weather event, such as heavy rainfall, can flood terrestrial Internet infrastructure, such as DSL or Fiber, causing community-wide network blackouts for hours, days, or weeks at a time. Similarly, your local construction crew might accidentally drill into the lines feeding your building’s primary Internet connection. Or perhaps your city’s electric company has an unforeseen power outage causing your Internet to drop. While it’s impossible to completely prevent the unpredictable, if Internet is important to your business, consider investing in both backup generators and a backup Internet circuit to safeguard your business from potential downtime.
Does your office have 20 users working off a symmetrical 3 Mbps circuit? Chances are your business operations will move at a glacial speed—that is, if they can be accomplished at all. Outside of physical users, do you know what everyone in your office is using the Internet for? Are they streaming video, uploading images, or downloading large files? All of these operations require bandwidth. Thus, in the case outlined above, your office lacks sufficient bandwidth.
To avoid Internet slow down, it’s imperative to know what your business uses the Internet for, and adjust your bandwidth accordingly. Furthermore, it’s important to understand if your office or building… A. has exclusive access to the bandwidth you’re paying for or B. you’re on a shared circuit leading to…
If your company is operating off a shared circuit, it is entirely possible that your neighbor could use up or hog your bandwidth. So, unless you plan to schedule out times for both your companies to take turns using the Internet, read on.
What is a Shared Internet Circuit?
When your Internet is part of a shared terrestrial circuit, you’re doing just that, sharing. All user data is transmitted across a singular network expending more and more bandwidth as additional devices join and engage the network. So literally, all users on a shared circuit share speeds and bandwidth— AKA what your neighbor does may affect the quality of your connection.
The PRO of opting for shared Internet access is that it is typically the most affordable form of broadband. Additionally, if you live in a highly dense urban area, it’s likely readily available from a variety of competitors. For businesses who do not rely heavily on the Internet, this is a perfectly fine and economical solution. Just be prepared for random and potentially frequent slow down.
What is a Dedicated Internet Circuit?
Unlike shared Internet access, dedicated circuits provide private Internet access to a single location, meaning bandwidth is delivered and accessible exclusively to the circuit owner. Therefore, businesses who opt for dedicated internet access (DIA) actually receive the speeds and bandwidth they sign up for—no sharing! While fiber can deliver dedicated circuits, due to the terrestrial nature of the technology it is typically slow to deploy and extremely expensive. Therefore, more and more businesses are turning towards fixed wireless for this premium service, such as GeoLinks’ ClearFiber™ network. Dedicated Internet is very valuable for organizations with multiple users, cloud-based phones or web-enabled devices — or simply businesses who value uptime and reliability.
DIA Use Cases
Not sure if your business should upgrade to a dedicated circuit? Here are a variety of business use cases, and how they can benefit from DIA.
- From interdepartmental communication, to customer service, to online marketing, to generating large financial contracts, an average car dealership’s day-to-day business relies on having dependable high-speed Internet.
Doctors’ Offices and Hospitals
- Electronic health records (EHR) and X-Rays are quickly migrating to the cloud, making large file transfers increasingly imperative to healthcare facilities. Fact: A 1 Gigabyte Multiple CT Scan file transfer at 1.5 Mbps will take 84 minutes to download vs. only 1.25 minutes to download on a 100 Mbps dedicated circuit.
Hotels and Restaurants
- In the hospitality industry, convenience and accessibility is paramount. Thus, having a high-functioning POS or check in system is mandatory for daily operations, and free guest Wi-Fi has become expected. Also consider that more and more users are making reservations online— can’t access the Internet? Good luck confirming reservations or booking requests!
- Real estate is an industry that revolves predominantly around website and phone leads. To be successful, agents must be accessible at all times, and keep web listings up-to-date with recent images and video tours. Therefore, high-speed Internet and using unified communications can be extremely beneficial.
- From ensuring that money transactions are efficient and secure, to deploying live security-monitoring, to executing nightly backups, a bank would be severely compromised if they encountered a lack of bandwidth.