Adventures beyond ASDL2+ – Getting the best from your internet connections
There’s no doubt that the internet has revolutionised the way that businesses work. Even the smallest business can have a worldwide audience for goods and services, customers can browse your offerings from home or via their smartphones, and communication with staff and clients is easier than ever before. It seems a win-win for both businesses and all of their customers.
So just imagine how much better things could be if you were able to enhance the power of the internet in your organisation and get even more done. Well this is possible simply by introducing a better internet connection to your workspace. We all know the frustrations that slow uploads and file transfers can cause, especially if a deadline is looming, but simply upgrading to the fastest broadband you can afford will enhance office efficiency in many ways, and actually make the work lives of your staff so much easier.
A lot of small and medium-sized Australian businesses tend to use ASDL2+ from Telstra, which offers speeds of up to 20Mbps for downloads and 1.5Mbps for uploads provided you’re using an ADSL2+ modem. But ASDL2+ is built on old technology – it’s delivered via the copper wires that connect homes and offices to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephony Network). And in Australia, where distances can be huge, the further you are from the phone exchange, the worse your ASDL service is likely to be, especially if you’re making use of data-heavy applications.
If you only have one or two members of staff, and are not a heavy internet user, ASDL2+ could be fine for your needs; it is also a good option for home users. But companies that need to send big files or work in the cloud can really suffer if their internet connections are slow. What’s more, with Office 365 fast becoming the favoured tool for driving business productivity, a faster connection is needed to take full advantage of all that technology has to offer.
National Broadband Network (NBN)
Telstra ASDL2+ is not the only player in town. And with Australia’s NBN (National Broadband Network) now a political hot potato and going nowhere fast, small and medium business owners seeking better internet should look at the most reliable options currently out there.
Big companies can fall back on their own resources and pay for fibre or Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), but this is so expensive that it tends to be the preserve of companies with many thousands of online workers, since economies of scale allow for a decent return on investment.
This is why small and medium-sized businesses should think about cable or fiber ethernet internet services offered by companies like Optus or TPG, or even Telstra’s own cable-based broadband service. These can offer speeds of up to 50Mbps – or in theory 100Mbps, nearly five times faster and with faster uploads too. Of course, as usual, actual speeds will depend on how many people are using the internet in your office and what they are using it for. Uploading big images, video and data to the cloud can use a lot of your speed up. And when it comes to the internet, speed is everything. Just look at the advantages.
More speed means more efficiency
If you run a company where your staff relies on the internet to do their everyday jobs, to do research, access various systems or deal with your customers, they might be online for several hours a day. So even a few seconds waiting for pages or files to download can start to add up over a year. And of course time is money. It’s not as though you can expect your staff to productively fill the frustrating 30 or so seconds it may take for a file to download or upload. The chances are they’ll just switch to their Facebook account while waiting, leading to further lost time. A faster connection will save a lot of thumb-twiddling and, down the line, a lot of money. Fast internet speed is important for your customers, too. If they are buying products from your website or simply looking at the services you offer, they want instant feedback from their clicks – if not, they’ll just find a competitor with a faster site. After all, they are usually looking for services online as a time-saving measure.
A faster internet connection means that you can make use of a range of innovative tech such as VoIP telephony, video conferencing and telecommuting. To efficiently route your calls via the internet and start saving money, you need a fast efficient internet connection.
Enhanced cloud computing
By now, nearly all IT-dependent businesses know the advantages of Cloud computing in ensuring good data access and enhancing communications and collaboration. But Cloud computing is simply not feasible without a fast internet connection. DSL services tend to be much slower than cable, and if you’re running more than three or four computers you’ll have a hard time with Cloud computing. Talk to your service provider about your current needs, and make sure they have the capacity to meet your future requirements.
Support more users at the same time
Internet speed is always going to be affected by the number of users, as bandwidth is shared between everyone. This becomes even more apparent with wireless technology. Ideally you need around 0.5 to 1 Megabits per second, or Mbps, of download speed simply to browse a web page. When you are sending emails or video conferencing, your need for speed goes up accordingly. In a large company where multiple people are doing a range of tasks at once on many different devices, especially uploading, your bandwidth will be severely compromised. You need high bandwidth connections that can cope with multiple users. ADSL2+ just won’t cut it in busy offices.
If you are a business owner looking to upgrade from ADSL2+ or want to know about your options, talk to experts like the team at Empower IT Solutions.