In today's connected world, a reliable Internet connection is vital for many small businesses. But not just any connection will do. It has to be the high-speed Internet service called "broadband" if you want to get anything done. DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) or other broadband Internet has become a necessary small business tool.
There are three basic types of small business broadband from which to choose:
1. DSL service, inexpensive broadband communication for the biz with less than 10 employees.
2. T1 (Trunk Level 1) services, more expensive and reliable broadband than DSL, good for small or growing businesses with less than 50 employees.
3. T3 (Trunk Level 3) or higher broadband Internet services, even pricier, and best for mid-sized to larger businesses (100+ employees).
Determine if DSL is enough high speed Internet service for youHigh-speed DSL is a good, low-cost broadband Internet option for the smallest of businesses. DSL's limitations – your company's proximity to the phone company and how many employees you have – affect reliability.
DSL/broadband Internet vendor in your state with Business.com’s geographic directory.
Check out Business DSL for small business broadband InternetSymmetrical DSL (SDSL), the "business-class" DSL, offers high-speed, dedicated broadband Internet access. It's somewhat more reliable than DSL, with a lower price tag than T1/T3 lines.
business DSL high speed Internet service providers in the directory at Business.com.
Consider the fastest in small business broadbandThe T1/T3 connection is known for its reliability (expect a high speed Internet service provider to guarantee 99.99% Internet access, with Service Level Agreements (SLAs) – to back up that claim) due to its dedicated broadband communication lines.
broadband high speed Internet service provider in the directory at Business.com.
Shop small-business broadband SLAsReliability is key for broadband communication. Many businesses choose the pricey T1/T3/higher connections for their now-standard SLAs, which protect your business broadband high speed Internet service against downtime. (Exact coverage varies by high speed Internet service provider, and SLAs are not offered with DSL.)
- Security is paramount: DSL/broadband communication means if your computer's on, it's also online. Make sure your carrier provides proper safety measures against hackers and other risks.
- Lease small business broadband: If your high speed Internet service provider allows it, lease, rather than buy, your Internet access equipment. If something goes wrong, it will be the provider's job to fix it (or replace it).
- Think ahead: If your company is growing (and we hope it is!), be sure to think ahead to what your small business broadband Internet needs will be in a year. More employees means more bandwidth.
- Read the fine print: The typical high speed Internet service provider has a standard contract length of 3 years, AND charge penalties if the contract is broken before it expires.
- Explore the alternatives: In special cases and areas, if DSL or T1 isn't available, check out frame relay, satellite, or cable service for broadband communication. Not the best options, but better than nothing, if it's all that's available.