It’s spacious, it’s accessible, it has polished concrete floors, and it’s located in a desirable part of town. It comes with all the bells and whistles you could want in a new location for your prospering business. The time has come for you to sign your 5 year office lease, but have you considered the most important aspect of your new location? For forward thinking businesses, it’s all about the bandwidth!
It’s clear that there is a shift-change going on with regards to IT. More and more services which used to be provided on-site are now being purchased on a month-by-month basis from the cloud. There are many benefits to this way of doing business, which are beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that businesses which used to crave processing power to get their jobs done and keep their employees humming now crave Internet bandwidth. The bottleneck is no longer the internal network, it’s the connection to the Internet which is where the congestion occurs.
When signing an office lease for a new location, it’s critically important to research what sort of Internet connectivity is available. What bandwidth and Internet speed will your business have access to, and at what cost?
Versature does not require you to purchase Internet access from any one provider, nor do we offer ISP services ourselves. We prefer to help our customers find the best option for their business, which is usually location specific. The ISP industry is large and ever-changing, with a variety of service options available. Let’s take this opportunity to explore a few of the more prevalent ones…
DSL, or digital subscriber line, is one of the most prolific forms of Internet connectivity. This medium uses your local telephone network to transmit digital data along standard phone lines. This is one of the least expensive options but also provides the least amount of bandwidth and should only be considered if there are no other options. DSL used to be a good choice for business, but other technologies have overtaken it. (~$60/month)
High-speed cable Internet, as the name implies, uses television cable infrastructure to deliver quick and reliable Internet services. The technology behind the cable infrastructure has allowed the cable companies to offer much greater speeds over their existing cables than the phone companies could. Relatively ubiquitous, cable from Shaw, Rogers, and Cogeco usually provide excellent value between speed and price. We often recommend cable offerings, when available. (~$125/month)
Relatively new to the market is VDSL, a service available in select regions. This is Bell and Telus’s response to their inability to compete with the cableco’s using their standard DSL infrastructure. Bell brands their VDSL service “Bell Fibe”, while Telus just calls it “High Speed Business Internet”. When VDSL is available in your area, it is usually an excellent option because it utilizes FTTN (Fiber to the Node) to provide cable-like speeds, for a relatively inexpensive price. (~$125/month)
A cost-effective solution sometimes employed by businesses is “fixed wireless” or wireless point-to-point Internet. This form of Internet service is delivered via a wireless link, meaning no physical medium such as cable is required. We have had mixed results with this type of Internet connection as there are many environmental and technical factors that can weaken the signal and therefore provide less-than-ideal service. (~$400/month)
Another wirelessly available form of Internet is the LTE network (4G). This Internet uses new DSP technology to deliver more and faster data over a separate wireless spectrum from 2G and 3G networks. LTE is provided as a “usage” based service, so if there is heavy usage cost can become an important factor. In places where there are no other options, or where the remote office moves around (such as a construction trailer), this is a very viable option. (~$150/month+)
Fiber Internet, more commonly available in the urban areas of Canada at this point, is another Internet service option which delivers some of the highest download and upload speeds available. Fiber is usually provided with a guarantee from the service provider, normally with a MTTR (Mean time to Repair) of 4 hours or less, making it an excellent choice for business. The cost puts it out of range for some small businesses though. (~$800/month)
As far as recommendations go, if you are lucky enough to have a fiber connection available in your area and it is reasonably priced, then this is the ideal scenario. Fiber offers the fastest and most reliable connection of any of the available services currently on the market. If fiber is not available to you, or if it is too pricey, the offerings from Bell/Telus (VDSL) and the cableco’s are excellent alternatives.
If your business is considering a move, it is crucial that you ensure your new location is not in a “dead zone”, where the building is situated too far from the required infrastructure to have access to quality Internet connectivity. Before signing a lease or purchasing the property, make sure to check what Internet services are available at that location from the various providers. All cities, even very urban ones, have areas that for one reason or another, are too far from the available infrastructure and have not been upgraded yet. Be cautious!
Versature has become a pro in helping its customers get the best connectivity option on the market, across the country, and for businesses of all sizes and budgets. With contacts at Rogers, Shaw, Bell, Telus, Videotron, and other ISPs we have helped many small and mid-sized businesses to optimize their Internet connections. If you have questions or concerns about which option is best for your business, feel free to give us a shout! Our team of industry experts will be happy to assist you in evaluating your options and ensuring your new business location comes fully-equipped with all the bells, whistles, and bandwidth you could need.