Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Business DSL Alternatives

Business DSL has been popular with small businesses because of its ready availability and low monthly cost. It works just great for some businesses and not so good for others. Some are out of luck completely. The service is just not available to them. Here’s a bit of explanation and some alternative ideas for companies that either can’t get business DSL or don’t like the way it works.

Get the bandwidth you need at competitive prices...Business DSL is similar to residential DSL. It comes in on ordinary twisted pair telephone wiring. Usually this is just a single pair like a phone line. In fact, it is a phone line. This means that DSL is delivered by your telephone company. They own the copper and are the only ones who can connect to it. Often, though, they will lease out copper pairs to competitive carriers that also offer business DSL service.

One thing that often distinguishes business DSL from residential service is that the home variety is priced at bargain basement prices because it uses the same wires as your landline telephone. Filters are installed so that the low frequency voice signal and the higher frequency digital signal don’t interfere. Business DSL lines are often used only for the digital connection. The telephones have their own separate network.

Some things that business owners don’t like about DSL are the shared rather than dedicated bandwidth, relatively low speeds, outages that don’t get quick repairs and asymmetric bandwidth (for the ADSL variety).

If you’ve been disappointed with what you can get in DSL performance or can’t get DSL at all, consider these alternatives.

For about the same or a little more money, you can get either 3G wireless broadband or Cable broadband. Cable is like DSL on steroids. The much higher bandwidth can make up for shared and asymmetric bandwidth. Like DSL, Cable is distance limited and only available if the cable happens to pass near your business location. Forget DSL or Cable if you happen to be located in the countryside.

Wireless is now an option for businesses in rural and metropolitan areas. WISPs or Wireless Internet Service Providers offer what amounts a giant WiFi hotspot. In order to get a far enough reach, special antennas are needed at each business location. Another flavor of wireless service is fixed microwave wireless. This is business grade service only available mostly in downtown business districts. The provider installs a small antenna on the roof of your building and an Ethernet jack in your office. Bandwidths range from 1 to 45 Mbps for standard service and 50 to 100 Mbps for high speed options. You typically need a line of sight path within 6 miles of the provider’s tower.

There is a type of wireless service that is nationally available and usually doesn’t require outside antennas. This is 3G cellular using the same towers and signals as smartphone cellular. These towers offer strong signals for most businesses, especially if high performance indoor antennas and modems are employed. The 3G service is similar to many DSL service speeds. Now 4G is becoming available, with bandwidth similar to Cable.

One more wireless service that you can get even if there is no cellular service is satellite. All you need is a dish on the roof with a clear view of the southern sky. Prices and bandwidth are competitive with DSL, Cable and 3G. It’s good for many applications, but not VoIP or video conferencing. The latency or time delay is just too long going to and from the satellite.

Consider T1 and Ethernet over Copper if you want high reliability professional wireline connections with low latency. T1 is the classic telecom service. What’s changed is that it is now available nearly everywhere you can get landline phone service and prices are a fraction of what they were a few years ago. Bandwidth is competitive with many DSL services and this is symmetrical dedicated bandwidth. It also comes with a service level agreement that ensures your line will get the highest priority if a rare outage occurs.

Ethernet over Copper (EoC) has emerged recently as a competitor for T1. It is also dedicated rather than shared bandwidth, symmetrical with equal upload and download speeds, and service level agreements. EoC offers higher bandwidths that T1 that often rival the best you can get from Cable. Like T1, prices may be double what you pay for Cable or DSL, but the bandwidth is rock solid and highly reliable.

Are you dissatisfied with your current bandwidth options or simply want to see if you can get a better deal? If so, get complementary competitive business bandwidth options and prices to know the opportunities available for your business location.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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