Internet service can be frustrating, can’t it? Outages galore, poor customer service and constantly having to power cycle your router are just a few of the major frustrations that come along with small business internet. It doesn’t end there, though. Many small businesses also deal with slowness, bandwidth issues and billing frustrations. Did you know that some of the issues you’re experiencing could be because you’re with the wrong ISP? Yes, there is a right internet service provider depending on your needs and business. Here are three ways that choosing the wrong ISP can cost you, and insight on how to choose an ISP for your business:
- The wrong type of connection.
Each different type of internet connection has a different purpose. Depending on what your needs are, you may want to choose a different type of ISP. The most important thing for businesses to understand is that there are two major distinctions of Internet service levels. One is broadband like cable and DSL and the other is high-availability like Fiber and T1. The broadband level is not necessarily as reliable and the speed is “expected” not guaranteed. Meaning if it goes up and down or there is an outage you have no recourse. With the high-availability options the bandwidth is guaranteed (10M is always 10M and if it drops you can cancel or get money back) it’s also guaranteed to be up 99.999% of the time contractually. Because of this they spend a lot more on the network and its upkeep along with the people who support it. With cable and DSL it’s never more than “best effort”. This is important to note, since there can be an extreme cost different in each option. Depending on how important internet is to your business, you’ll have to determine how you’ll invest or risk downtime and outage issues.
- The wrong speed.
You should never overpay for speed that you’re not using. Not everyone needs 1G of fiber, or should be paying for that type of speed. It’s important to have fast internet, but you should understand more about how your users are using it and how your internet now is either handicapping or not handicapping them before you pay for bandwidth that you don’t necessarily need. While you never want to handicap your users with slow speed, you also shouldn’t pay for excessive speed that your organization doesn’t need.
- Poor support.
When your internet is out, you need support and service right away. Every moment of downtime is lost revenue. And since most businesses are operating on VoIP services these days, internet outages often mean telephone outages. Getting things fixed as fast as possible is crucial when your internet is out, so prompt response time is critical. Make sure you have a good understanding of how your ISP handles support requests and what the standard expected wait time and resolution time will be. While your Managed Services Provider will usually help you get back up and running, they’re subject to the service and support of your ISP in order to actually get service back up and running.
Some ISPs have terrible reputations, some have extremely poor bandwidth in certain service areas and some are incredible from a customer service and uptime perspective. No matter what your budget or situation, make sure that you carefully assess the type of internet you need. Choose the amount of bandwidth and speed that’s right for your users and business based on their current experience with your existing internet and take a moment to understand support and get a team of MSP experts in your court to help you get things resolved quickly when there are issues.