There are far more options for internet connection than standard broadband (ADSL). What is right depends on the demands of your business. We will help calculate your needs in terms of download speed, upload speed, redundancy and service guarantees.

There is a wide variety of options to consider for connecting a site to the internet or other locations within the same business. These include ADSL (broadband), SDSL, EFM, leased line and satellite. We will happily explain the technology behind these methods, but what is really important to us is to gain a good understand of your business so we can offer the most appropriate for your needs. The choice depends on a number of factors such as the number of employees, the type of software which uses your network, the volume and type of data and the risks and costs your are exposed to if it breaks.

EFM (Ethernet in the First Mile) is becoming the “de rigueur” business internet connection and not without good reason. Whilst everyone is familiar with an ADSL (broadband) connection at home, the expectation is often that a business will have something similar but perhaps a little “beefier”. No surprise that this so often is not the best plan. Apart from the obvious issue that you might have only a handful of people using residential ADSL but in business dozens of users pushing important data up and down the line, there are other issues that business requirements must address:

  • Traffic is two-way
  • Consistent speed
  • Guaranteed reliability

Two way traffic

The “A” in ADSL stands for asymmetric, meaning the connection is intended to have more data flowing in one direction than another, i.e. the site is a consumer of data (i.e. downloads from websites, or just web browsing), rather than a producer. A business site may well pump out i.e. upload, as much or more data than it consumes, sending it on to partners or other locations within the business. ADSL can only carry data fast in one direction; EFM carries it in both directions at the same speed.

Consistent throughput is demanded

The ADSL speed may be quoted as “up to 8MB” but that is all it is – “up to”. In reality it might be only 3 or 4MB and even then only in short bursts. The reason is, it is essentially a shared service, so the speed you receive is dependent on what other customers are doing on their ADSL service. A “slower” EFM service, will be better than ADSL because there is no sharing or “contention”. It is the equivalent of having the choice between the M27 motorway, which might be great at 02:00 in the morning, but not so hot at 08:30, or a private A-road, with no junctions, no roundabouts and no other traffic ever. On the first you can be down to 5 mph, on the second a steady 60 mph morning, noon and night. For consistently high speeds the EFM service is superior.

Reliability must be guaranteed

For most business the disconnection of their internet connection is expensive – lost business, non-productive staff, and frustrated customers. ADSL is not a guaranteed service. ISPs do not provide an SLA (service level agreement) because the underlying infrastructure does not provide the necessary level of reliability and redundancy. However, EFM is a different technology, very reliable and therefore comes with service level agreements.

EFM can also replace multiple ADSL connections as well as provide an alternative “carrier” for voice calls, therefore replacing ISDN phone lines.

Cabled or wireless? Cabled is reliable; wireless is convenient. We can talk through the pros and cons of each with you and ensure your network infrastructure meets your needs and has sufficient capacity for growth. Whether cabled, wireless or both we can install and maintain it for you.

While we refer here to what is known as a local area network (LAN) i.e. within your building or site, we can also help you make use of technologies to connect your business securely together over wider geographical areas, for example from branch to branch, from home to office or mobile.

Get in touch with Pronetic today and find out how we can help your business.

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