Internet service is critical to any business – almost the equivalent of “oxygen” in most offices! If there’s no internet, people can’t work and your customers can’t reach you. Even most phone systems are internet or IP-based, which means if your internet goes down, so do all of your inbound and outbound communications! The importance of reliable internet can’t be overstated.
Typically our first thought when we think of internet is WiFi. It’s important to zoom out and think about the actual internet circuit – the physical connection from your facility to the broader internet. Aside from paying the bill to your internet service provider (ISP) each month, you probably don’t give this much thought. Nonetheless, it is a mission-critical piece to a robust and resilient local network.
Whether you’re building a new facility or looking to upgrade your current internet circuit, there are three important things to consider: service, budget, and timeline.
First, service covers the type of internet connection and the different levels of service that are available in your area. Did you know that there are different types of internet circuits? Without going too deep into the technical details of each, there are copper (coax) services, ethernet-based, fiber direct internet access (DIA), and point-to-point (P2P) circuit options. Maybe you need near-100% uptime, a DIA or P2P circuit would be best. Maybe you need a back-up as well, a coax circuit might be best suited. Regardless of the need, it’s important to align business needs with your ISP’s service level agreement (SLA).
Next is budget – how much do you want to spend each month on your internet services? When deciding on budget, the level of service that your business needs should also be a driving force. Too often, it’s a decision based on the bottom line, instead of the level of service that your business needs to operate. There’s certainly a tension between fiscal responsibility and network resiliency, but there’s always an intersection of the two where it makes sense.
The last item that we’ll cover here is timeline. Installing an internet circuit isn’t always as simple as calling up your local ISP and ordering it. Especially with new developments and new construction, timeline is a critical component of any project plan. Some internet circuits can take up to 180 days for delivery. The ISP may need to dig and lay additional fiber to provide service to your location, there may be several layers of approvals to go through (right of entry, building access agreements, etc.), not to mention any extensions to be coordinated within a multi-floor building’s riser system.
The team at Portside Technology has extensive experience in this type of diligence, selection, delivery, and commissioning process. We’ll help you align business needs with required levels of service and ensure you’re only paying for what you need. With the right planning and attention to detail during delivery, we’ll make sure you have the internet circuits you need to power your business.