Businesses are often being told of the importance of getting a fast, reliable internet connection for their business. But how fast is fast, and where do you get such a service from?
In this blog, we outline five ways that ultrafast internet can make your business more profitable, and explain why you need to go through a specialist internet provider (ISP) like M247 to get the gigabit-plus speeds that will really drive forward your performance.
1. Get ahead of your competitors
The UK government acknowledges that faster, more reliable broadband has a direct impact on the bottom line in business. In 2018, it claimed that the roll-out of new superfast broadband infrastructure had returned £12.28 on every £1 invested in the project, helping to drive a £9bn leap in business turnover.
But ‘superfast’ broadband is defined by Ofcom as a network delivering download speeds of up to 30Mbps. That’s 3% of the speed of ultrafast gigabit internet possible via full fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connections – or more than 30 times slower! The key difference is that the government is still investing in fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) fibre-copper hybrid networks, installing ultra high speed, high capacity fibre optic cabling as far as on-street cabinets, but then relying on much slower legacy copper infrastructure to carry internet services from the cabinet to premises. What is more, by the end of 2018, the superfast public network had only reached five million homes and businesses, with full national roll out not scheduled to be complete until 2020.
That means most businesses are still waiting to be connected to a network that fails to meet the latest benchmark standard for high speed internet anyway. But instead of waiting in line to get access, companies have the option to leap ahead of the queue and connect directly to an ultrafast FTTC service from an internet provider like M247. We offer wired and wireless fibre connectivity solutions up to speeds of 1Gbps and beyond. If you really want to steal a march, our internet services go all the way up to 10Gbps.
Not only will access to the fastest internet speeds available in the UK give you a competitive advantage, it will future proof your connectivity against increasing demands in capacity and bandwidth for years to come.
2. Work faster and more efficiently
The reason why ultrafast internet gives you the edge over any competitors just getting to grips with superfast is simple – your IT systems are that much faster and more efficient. The government might have trumpeted the £9bn gain it claimed its superfast rollout achieved. But even that sum did not fully cover the estimated £11bn a year that slow, unreliable internet connections cost UK businesses, based on the fact that the average worker spends 38 hours every year waiting for online processes to complete.
There is a direct correlation between internet speed and productivity – the faster online processes are, the less time is lost waiting for pages to load or document saves to be complete, and the more people can get done. Ultrafast internet connectivity also opens the door to other benefits, cutting down on meeting times and offering better operational resilience. Gigabit internet means that HD video conferencing platforms work seamlessly with no buffering or glitches, finally opening the door for businesses to ditch travelling to meetings and do everything by video instead. And the faster your internet, the faster you can recover from outages and system failures, with high speed data recovery from back-ups minimising disruption and downtime.
3. Take advantage of added agility and reliability
One thing no business wants is to suddenly hit a glass ceiling in terms of its IT network capabilities. Say you decide to add a new high-bandwidth service like video conferencing, only to find it is plagued with latency problems because your existing broadband has been pushed to capacity. Or you expand your team, only to find the extra capacity demands are making applications on your network glitchy and unreliable. Or perhaps you have noticed that, at peak periods, the service quality of your VoIP telephone system deteriorates as you get higher-than-usual call volumes.
Once your internet service is pushed to capacity, you have no more room to expand your operations and you will probably have to put up with a drop in performance. By upgrading to ultrafast internet, you can be confident that you have the bandwidth to scale up services as required without an impact on speed and reliability, you can maintain a high quality service for customers and you have the headroom to grow as a business.
4. Optimise your use of the cloud
Conventional broadband connections are known as asymmetrical because they prioritise download traffic over upload. So, taking the example of superfast FTTC again, even if you are getting the maximum 30Mbps for downloads, you might only get a third of that for uploads.
This is a problem for any business that uses cloud-based IT services. Asymmetrical internet was conceived with domestic/consumer use in mind – most people do a lot more downloading of content, be it a web page or a feature length film on Netflix, than they do uploading. But with businesses that use cloud computing, this is not the case. Any kind of cloud business platform you use, be it Microsoft Dynamics, a cloud CRM or a full IaaS hosted back end, means that staff and systems are constantly saving and therefore uploading data for remote storage in the cloud. Modern collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams see colleagues engage in two-way digital dialogues, with the sharing of documents, messages or video involving downloading and uploading content in equal measure.
With an asymmetrical connection, you hit uploading capacity for cloud-based services much quicker than you max out on download bandwidth, affecting reliability and performance. Ultrafast internet like the gigabit fibre services offered by M247 are fully symmetrical, i.e. equal speed and bandwidth for uploads and downloads, which means your business gets the most out of using the cloud.
5. Pay for what you need
Finally, there’s never any point in businesses paying for services they simply do not need, and the speed of your internet connection is no exception. A lot of smaller companies especially get duped into paying for gigabit fibre connections when there is very little chance they will ever need the speed and bandwidth a gigabit network provides. They are just wasting money on unused capacity.
At M247, we offer a whole range of ultrafast connectivity solutions, from 50Mbps all the way up to a mammoth 10Gbps. That means we can tailor an internet service to suit the needs of your business, still beating what you had before for speed and reliability, but for a price that is affordable and sensible.