High-speed, dependable broadband is now vital for any small business. It boosts profitability, reduces staff frustrations and improves customer service. Without it, communicating with clients, making deals with suppliers or even carrying out important tasks such as accounting becomes much more difficult and time consuming.
There are a variety of choices for small and medium-sized businesses out there, but before committing to a deal, we have set out the questions that small businesses can ask prospective broadband providers and main considerations to take into account.
What Is The Speed Of The Connection?
It is important to have a quick connection, and an old-fashioned copper ADSL line simply won’t cut it for most companies. Many providers advertise a so-called “best effort” speed which they rarely achieve. You should always ask what they provider’s “guaranteed minimum” is. If they are unwilling to disclose this, take your business elsewhere.
Do They Offer A Static IP Address?
Each computer connecting to the internet has a distinctive IP address that identifies it. Many home broadband packages have dynamic IP addresses, which mean that every time you connect, the IP address changes.
It is extremely important for companies to have a static IP address – one that stays the same and has been reserved just for you – as they develop. For example, a static IP is a must if you wanted to host a website, email server or corporate VPN.
How Reliable Is The Connection and Does The Provider Offer An SLA?
Any outages or downtime, particularly if you rely on an internet connection for business-critical activities, may cost you significant amounts of money. Therefore, when it comes to uptime, you need to ask any prospective provider whether they can assure you of their service’s reliability with a service level agreement.
A service level agreement (SLA) takes metrics like uptime, minimum speed and time taken to respond to service requests and enshrines them into your contract. If a business broadband providers is unwilling to provider you with this, it is a sign that they are not confident in the service they are offering.
What CyberSecurity Features Do They Offer?
Even the smallest organizations are still prone to data breaches; in fact, they are no less likely to be targeted but often are far less able to defend themselves or to adequately recover in time to salvage their business.
Usually, business broadband packages come with a much more robust set of steps to protect against this than those found in home broadband packages. So, this could be a crucial factor to consider if you’re using a home broadband contract. Be aware of additional cybersecurity features like network monitoring, advanced and configurable firewalls and more.
We hope this has been an enlightening look at some of the basic questions to ask when considering a new business broadband providers. Before you do so, you should also talk to other business owners you know about which providers they use and what their experiences have been like as a customer.