receives compensation from some of the companies listed on this page. Advertising Disclosure
BDC Hamburger Icon


BDC Logo
Search Icon
Updated Nov 08, 2023

What Is Business Broadband?

Find out more about business broadband, how it works and how the right connection can benefit your company.

Mark Fairlie
Mark Fairlie, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Ownership
Verified CheckEditor Verified
Verified Check
Editor Verified
A editor verified this analysis to ensure it meets our standards for accuracy, expertise and integrity.

Table of Contents

Open row

If your business depends on any cloud-based technology services, your internet connection is critical to your day-to-day operations and hitting your revenue targets. Broadband internet service packages tailored exclusively for businesses can provide the added features, increased security and dedicated support companies need to operate efficiently and reach their goals.

Depending on the location of your workplace, you can find a business broadband package with a range of prices and speeds from many of the best internet service providers in the country. To assist you in your search for the most suitable high-speed internet service plan for your company, we’ll break down everything you need to know before you sign a contract.

What is business broadband?

Business broadband is a high-speed internet connection for use in offices and other workplaces. Think of it as a commercial-grade internet solution with added features and dedicated customer support that’s often backed by a strong service-level agreement (SLA). 

Reliability is usually guaranteed, with uptimes of more than 99 percent. While the term “broadband internet” most often refers to cable internet plans thanks to its wide availability, other business-grade broadband connections like fiber, dedicated internet and enterprise-grade 5G fall under the same umbrella.

As you shop for broadband internet, it’s worth noting that the Federal Communications Commission defined the term “broadband” in 2015 as an internet connection with a minimum download speed of 25 Mbps and upload speed of 3 Mbps. 

By today’s standards, these download and upload speeds are generally considered too slow for small business use and most likely unusable in an enterprise setting. If you’re using a digital subscriber line (DSL) through a phone line to get online, you’re going to struggle with today’s bandwidth requirements.

Did You Know?Did you know
The definition of broadband varies from country to country. For example, in Britain, it’s 10 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up while in Canada, it’s 50 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up.

Benefits of business broadband vs. other solutions

The biggest difference between home and business internet, with an example like a fiber service plan, is not necessarily the advertised speed but the added features, level of customer support, easy customization and higher price.

Business plans can give priority to different types of traffic or the key applications you depend on the most. For example, you can prioritize your network traffic for high-definition (HD) video conferencing and webinars over other applications that you deem less important, such as system backups. Your service provider may also be able to prioritize your business traffic over any competing residential traffic at peak times to guarantee you get the bandwidth you need. 

So, while speeds between residential and business plans may seem comparable at first glance, they often differ greatly once you consider the added features available for business clients and the throttling that happens to residential users.

Other features ― including a static internet protocol (IP) address and extra layers of security, such as firewalls and cloud-based distributed denial-of-service protection, to protect your customer data ― are also widely available from the major business broadband service providers.

Most business customers will be able to customize their plans much more than residential customers can. Still, the SLAs and customer support set the two options apart. These stringent SLAs are contractual obligations for performance that result in business clients receiving priority for customer service over the phone or onsite when they need it. Many SLAs guarantee internet uptimes of over 99 percent, with clearly defined means of compensation if the expected service level is not met.

TipBottom line
If you want to host your website on your own servers, get a broadband connection with a static IP address.

What types of business broadband are available?

Unfortunately, the types of internet service for business are often limited by location. If you operate in a rural part of the country, true business broadband may not be an option. If that’s the case, you could be stuck using DSL or deciding between a mobile hotspot and satellite internet. But if your business is located in a more populated area, cable or DSL internet, dedicated internet and fiber are all viable solutions.


Cable should be considered the minimum technology requirement for businesses where it’s accessible. Outside of rural areas, cable internet is widely available with high speeds and reliability.

For small businesses with no significant reliance on cloud-based services, a cable internet package with speeds over 100 Mbps could be enough. Larger businesses or companies that rely heavily on cloud-based systems should look to higher internet speeds for smooth HD video conferencing and uninterrupted communication with their cloud-based software.

Dedicated internet

Dedicated internet is a fixed-bandwidth connection that your business doesn’t share with any other users. Since you’re not sharing bandwidth with neighbors or even businesses on separate floors of the same building, downtime and inconsistencies in speed are far rarer.

It’s an ideal broadband connection for companies that prioritize security and privacy and it’s also attractive to midsize and enterprise-level organizations that use demanding network applications in their day-to-day operations.


If it’s available in your area, you should consider fiber for the best download and matching upload speeds. Fiber gigabyte download and upload speeds are often far faster than the best cable internet. 

While fiber cable infrastructure is still rolling out across the United States, you’ll find that most major cities and large business centers are equipped for lightning-fast internet access. But with an average cost of $60,000 to $80,000 per mile to lay fiber cable, its rollout to less densely populated areas could be very slow.

Enterprise-grade 5G

For businesses that need broadband connections outside the office, mobile devices running on 5G networks can be a viable solution in the right circumstances. 

While strict data caps and lower speeds mean that smartphones and dedicated hotspots can’t compete with other broadband solutions, they can offer HD video conferencing and plenty of capability for web browsing, email and chat when in range of a network tower.

FYIDid you know
The other main type of connection, DSL, is slowly being phased out nationwide. This type of internet connection piggybacks on standard copper wire phone lines. If you have a choice between DSL and cable internet, choose cable if your business depends on getting online.

How to choose a broadband provider

To choose the right internet provider for your business, follow these five steps.

1. Calculate how fast your connection needs to be.

To determine the best connection speed for your business, consider how you and your employees currently use the internet. 

Are multiple people simultaneously participating in HD video conferences? Are you uploading large files to the cloud regularly? Look at how many people will use the connection and what they’ll be doing online.

2. Determine how important uptime is.

If you rely on the internet to accept payments, run marketing campaigns, respond to customer queries, host your website and more, internet downtime will be very disruptive to your business. [Related article: 10 Tips for Choosing the Right Web Hosting Company]

When shortlisting potential providers, prioritize ISPs with high uptime guarantees and robust service level agreements.

3. Search out ISPs in your area.

If you live in a city or town, you’ll likely have a decent choice of national and regional business ISPs. Companies in rural locations will have a much more restricted selection.

You can find providers with a quick Google search. To make certain a company will serve you, check out if their site has an address search function to see if you’re in their coverage area.

4. Compare provider prices and plans.

Business broadband providers often bundle extras with their services, such as domain names, website creation tools and static IP addresses. While some of the features will be included in the price, many will be chargeable add-ons. Decide what’s most useful to you.

If you have any custom requirements, let potential providers know so they can give you an accurate quote. Do you handle security in-house or would you like help from your service provider? Do you need to prioritize traffic for customers during business hours? Study the SLA to see what you can amend to suit your company’s needs better.

5. Find out what other users think.

ISP websites tell you how fast their connections are, but what you see on their websites may be an optimistic estimation. There are different test sites you can check out to see if users in your area are getting the speeds advertised.

Another way to check the quality of service a potential ISP offers is to check out their online reviews. Many providers serve both residential and business customers, so try to seek out the experiences of business customers before committing.

Bottom LineBottom line
In the way some big cell phone brands use others’ networks, the same is true for broadband providers. You may end up shortlisting two or more providers that have white-label capacity on the same ISP backbone. Finding out who owns and runs the infrastructure might give you a more reliable insight into actual speed and reliability.

Which providers offer business broadband?

Verizon, AT&T, Google, Comcast and Spectrum are some of the service providers offering broadband plans tailored to business customers. Depending on the location of your company, cable or even faster options like fiber and dedicated internet may be available. To judge these service plans against each other fairly, we’ll focus on the top plans from each provider in terms of available speeds.

When you contact a potential service provider to discuss pricing, you can typically negotiate better terms with bundled packages or longer service agreements ― so take their listed prices as a starting point with some wiggle room for your specific needs. Not all plans or speeds are available in every market, so you will have to reach out to service providers individually to determine what’s accessible for your exact business address.

Verizon Business

  • Pricing: Starts at $69 per month for Fios Fiber Internet plan; 5G and LTE internet also available
  • Speed: Up to 1,000 Mbps download and upload
  • Features: Traffic and application prioritization, flexible speed options, cloud-based security, 24/7 monitoring and reporting, strong SLAs, wireless backup, managed SD-WAN, managed network services and one- to 10-year price guarantees, depending on connection type and contract length
  • Find out more: Read our Verizon Business review.

AT&T Business

  • Pricing: Starts at $75 per month for Internet for Business 50 Mbps plan and $70 for Wireless Broadband (contact sales for Dedicated Internet)
  • Speed: Up to 1 Tbps on Dedicated Internet, 5 Gbps on Business Fiber and 100 Mbps on Wireless Broadband
  • Features: Dynamic/static IP, business-focused customer support, McAfee software-as-a-service endpoint protection, PC backup, online fax, consolidated invoice for multiple locations and symmetric/asymmetric connection available for fiber
  • Find out more: See our in-depth review of AT&T Business.

Cox Business

  • Pricing: Starts at $64 per month for Business Internet 50 Mbps plan up to $299 per month for 940 Mbps
  • Speed: Up to 940 Mbps download and 35 Mbps upload
  • Features: Flexible plans, more than 99 percent service uptime, 24/7 support, business hotspot network access, guest and private Wi-Fi networks and a complete cloud-based security suite
  • Find out more: Here’s the latest Cox Business review.

Comcast Business

  • Pricing: Contact for a quote
  • Speed: From 50 Mbps to 1.25 Gbps, with a maximum upload speed of 35 Mbps
  • Features: Flexible speeds, Border Gateway Protocol routing, 24/7 priority support and monitoring, static IP address, SLAs with response times and cloud-based security with geographically dispersed data centers
  • Find out more: Look at our review of Comcast Business Internet.

Spectrum Business

  • Pricing: Two packages ― 600 Mbps for $59.99 per month and 1 Gbps for $109.99 
  • Speed: Up to 1 Gbps download and 35 Mbps upload
  • Features: Over 99.9 percent reliability; 30-day, money-back guarantee; 24/7 U.S.-based support; wireless internet backup; static IP; and business Wi-Fi
  • Find out more: Read our in-depth Spectrum Internet review.

Google Fiber Business

  • Pricing: Starts at $70 per month for 1 Gbps up to $150 for 8 Gbps
  • Speed: Up to 8 Gbps with symmetrical download and upload speeds
  • Features: Professional installation, 24/7 customer support, a Network Box with built-in Wi-Fi (or use your own device), 1 TB of free cloud storage and no data caps or annual contracts

Jeff Hale contributed to this article. 

Mark Fairlie
Mark Fairlie, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Ownership
Mark Fairlie brings decades of expertise in telecommunications and telemarketing to the forefront as the former business owner of a direct marketing company. Also well-versed in a variety of other B2B topics, such as taxation, investments and cybersecurity, he now advises fellow entrepreneurs on the best business practices. With a background in advertising and sales, Fairlie made his mark as the former co-owner of Meridian Delta, which saw a successful transition of ownership in 2015. Through this journey, Fairlie gained invaluable hands-on experience in everything from founding a business to expanding and selling it. Since then, Fairlie has embarked on new ventures, launching a second marketing company and establishing a thriving sole proprietorship.
BDC Logo

Get Weekly 5-Minute Business Advice

B. newsletter is your digest of bite-sized news, thought & brand leadership, and entertainment. All in one email.

Back to top