Having fast and reliable access to data has become a business differentiator in the digital landscape. And while much attention has been placed on mobile, connectivity at the office should never be forgotten. So is the answer continued reliance on ADSL or should serious consideration be paid to fibre?
Let’s start with one of the major concerns – cost.
Fortunately, this is also one of the biggest misconceptions. While the initial setup fee of fibre is more expensive than that of ADSL, the long-term benefits in terms of productivity and efficiency should outweigh those. One of the reasons for the high initial capital outlay is the fact that fibre needs to be trenched to the business premises.
Whether you are an SME or a multinational, this ‘last mile’ of connectivity between the exchange and your office is the most important bridge to the internet today. So investing in ensuring this link is the best it can be will save many headaches down the road. Most importantly, fibre on its own has no inherent value like copper. So unless someone actually digs open the ground and cuts the fibre link, chances are your internet access will never go down.
And while many consumers are left frustrated by not falling in a fibre to the home coverage area, a business can work with a trusted service provider to get a link established.
So is business fibre a better option than the more consumer-friendly fibre to the home? As with anything technology-related it depends on what you want to achieve from it.
Fibre to the home solutions, as the name suggests, are designed for consumers. And while they are fast and provide a significant improvement over ADSL, they are not business-ready. On the other hand, business fibre is designed for the needs of an enterprise. The focus on uptime, support, and the best possible experience mean that even start-ups should seriously consider going this route.
Fibre, irrespective the option selected, is also considered to be future-proof. Anyone who has spent any time in the IT industry knows the risk of that statement. However, the capacity of fibre optics mean that the biggest bottleneck for access will be the equipment (read router, terminal, etc.) needed to distribute connectivity throughout the office. This has the advantage that as technology improves, the company can easily replace the equipment with faster and better ones without needing to worry about the actual fibre trenched to the offices.
In a world that relies on having information in real-time, connectivity is the lifeblood. Looking at the growth of social media, high definition content, and the arrival of Big Data, organisations need to find faster ways of disseminating that content and extracting value out of it. Can your business really afford to still rely on old-school access like ADSL when competitors are venturing into the fibre landscape?