So you’re setting up a new office or are having trouble with your Internet connection?

But what are the options available and what are the differences between all of them?

We help businesses set up connections all the time and it’s really important to understand what you need as you pay for what you get. You may find you need more than you think.

If you haven’t yet taken advantage of what the cloud can offer, you will probably need to consider the speed of your Internet connection before you start to move your services.

Businesses grow, relocate and move offices on a regular basis. We often come across clients who have decided to move to a particular area, building or street based on a new office or warehouse that is suitable to their needs. But they are often stopped in their tracks when they find out decent Internet connectivity isn’t available. Sometimes it’s too late and they are committed. It pays to find out and get some options priced up before you move. The CBD areas are not immune to this. There are many building in Sydney which do not have fiber available.

How to choose the right office Internet connection

ADSL and ADSL 2+

ADSL really is a consumer product. Some micro businesses can get away with it depending on their requirements but we find most businesses who are on ADSL by the time we talk with them they will ultimately need to change to something that is a business grade solution.

Key points:

  • No guarantee on speed or service level.
  • Speed can fluctuate at different times.
  • Can be very slow.
  • Is not really good for businesses with more than 5 people who use the Internet heavily and the cloud.
  • Upload speed is very slow typically a maximum of 1Mbit per second in best case scenario. This means a 200GB file would take as long as 26 minutes in the best case. It could be double that or even more.
  • The further you are away from the exchange the slower it gets.
  • The older the copper network in your area the more likely it will be slower.

SHDSL and Midband Ethernet

Midband Ethernet and SHDSL are essentially the same thing. They both allow you to have speeds from 2Mbits up to 80Mbits usually a set speed and can be a guaranteed speed. It’s important to understand how the service is being delivered. Some providers will sell the service up to a certain speed but won’t guarantee the speed. This is called best effort. If you need a speed guarantee you will need to ask the provider if they can guarantee the speed. If they don’t you’ll need to ask a different provider.

Some providers will say it’s an 8 wire solution and others would classify an 8 wire solution as 4 ULLS (1 ULL is a pair of wires). Some providers are sneaky trying to trick you into thinking their 8 wire solution is the same as 8 pair or ULLS. Obviously 8 pairs will deliver twice the speed of 8 wires.

Midband Ethernet and SHDSL are for businesses typically from a couple of employees up to 100.

Key points:

  • Midband Ethernet and SHDSL are cheaper than Fiber usually and are available where fiber isn’t available.
  • They are both provided over copper infrastructure. The further you are from the exchange the less likely it will work and the more likely it will be slow.

Fiber

Fiber can provide speeds from 1Mbit to more than 1Gbit. Fiber is delivered over optical fiber and is not subjected to interference or loss of quality over distance that ADSL and SHDSL can be. Fiber is not always available in every location. It is typically available in CBD areas and new business parks. If fiber is not available in your building but is available in the street you are in it could cost tens of thousands of dollars to have the cable terminated and made available in your building. The telco will always insist you pay this haulage fee. This fee can often not be fixed because other problems may arise where trenches are not available for example and need to be dug to bring the cable to your building within your street or business park.

Key points:

  • For the best quality fiber optics is the number one choice.
  • Fiber can be expensive to install in your area or building – make sure you do your homework before committing to a new site. The area or building might not have what you need.

NBN

NBN might be available in your area. The NBN has been slow to roll out and many customers have found they are not getting the speed they thought they would get. Even though the speeds aren’t as great as expected in many areas it may still be much faster than the other options available to you.

Fixed wireless

Fixed wireless can be an option if the above options are not available or too costly to install in your location. Fixed wireless can provide great speeds and reliability. Fixed wireless can be considered as a backup option if you need redundancy and are concerned about blackouts in your area or building.

Fixed wireless needs to have direct line of site to the antenna providing the service so if you are in a low lying area or building locked and can’t see any great distance from your building fixed wireless will probably not work.

Ethernet

Ethernet is essentially how the connection is handed off to you as the customer. If it’s Midband, SHDSL, ADSL or fiber it will be handed over to you as Ethernet to connect to your firewall or router.

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