When I moved into my apartment 11 months ago (it’s almost time to ask for a discount in return for signing another year-long contract), I did some comparison shopping. While I didn’t like the idea of having Time Warner Cable (because of all the bad things I had read about it, I also didn’t want to have to deal with two companies (AT&T U-Verse being the other). So I bit the bullet and went with Time Warner. I had a few issues at the beginning, but over the past few months, it’s been smooth sailing. Fingers crossed.
If you need to upgrade your broadband to a faster/better business package you might be wondering where to start looking. There are now so many phone and Internet companies on the market, all claiming to provide super-fast speeds and excellent value for money. Many providers like to bamboozle customers with obscure jargon and a barrage of numbers, so if you want to make an informed business broadband comparison, it’s a good idea to do your homework first.
The most basic broadband packages usually offer an Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line connection, or ADSL for short. This type of service is provided using regular telephone lines, which means a minimum of fuss when your new connection is installed. The speed of an ADSL connection is affected by the distance between your business and the local telephone exchange, and the level of telecoms technology present at the exchange, so you might find that your actual connection speed doesn’t match the provider’s claims. ADSL download speeds usually fall somewhere between 2Mbps and 24Mbps, although upload speeds are usually much lower, at under 1Mbps. As such, ADSL connections are usually better suited for people that don’t send a great deal of data across the web, and don’t host any complex web functionality.
As well as looking at a variety of providers, you can also make an informed choice by looking at different connection types. Alongside ADSL, you’ll also find a lot of companies offering Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL) and local loop unbundled (LLU) packages. An SDSL connection is capable of much faster upload speeds than ADSL can manage, which makes it an attractive option for any business that needs to use the internet to send and receive information in equal measure. LLU packages are a different beast altogether, as they improve connection speed by avoiding use of the BT exchange system, with traffic routed through the provider’s network instead. This means that LLU providers can usually offer a high Mbps rate and increased reliability at a lower cost, despite using regular telephone lines like an ADSL provider.
Broadband is also available from a number of cable and satellite providers, and while you shouldn’t rule these out before making a business broadband comparison, you’ll probably find that there aren’t as many packages available. Satellite broadband providers rarely offer particularly fast connection speeds, and may not be appropriate for the needs to many businesses. Cable connections are capable of much higher speeds, and if your business is located in a sizeable town or city, you shouldn’t have any problems with coverage either. This makes it a serious alternative to services that rely on telephone lines, although you’re likely to find much less variation in the balance between upload and download speeds.
When was the last time you switched your cable or Internet services? What did you switch to?