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Providing High-speed Internet is like providing water and electricity in the classroom.
Lynn D. Smith, Superintendent
Brewton City Schools, AL
The internet has transformed the way small businesses operate, communicate with employees and interact with customers. It's an important tool for achieving strategic goals, improving competitiveness and efficiency, reaching customers and interacting with vendors. High-speed broadband is as essential to businesses as other utilities such as water, sewer or electricity. And in turn, broadband reliability becomes paramount for a business. Because as we all know, without it, a business can be brought to a standstill.
Changes in the way companies are working– and the tools they are using – have created the need for high-speed connections to services and individuals off-site. Video conferencing is helping businesses cut travel costs. Mobile devices – with easy links to work related content – are enabling more employees to be more productive, from any location. All these applications have one factor in common: they require bandwidth. And plenty of it. Businesses that don’t have this kind of bandwidth will find themselves unable to fully leverage trends like the cloud and remote access.
And while price will always be a major consideration for a small business, business owners should also become familiar with the broadband technology delivery method - weighing the pros and cons of mechanisms like DSL vs. Cable. Historically, rural areas only had access to an, at best, DSL connection. But because of the investment Mediacom has made in its service areas, we have a built an infrastructure that matches any major metropolitan area, achieving speeds of Gigabit and beyond. That is so crucial for businesses that exist in America’s “Heartland” because it erases geographic boundaries of competition. And while the internet has made the world a much smaller place – small businesses can now have a place at the table in our digital economy.
Gigabit level internet service gives small businesses the room to power all applications that require internet capacity. When a business tries to run too many operations over a low speed connection, delivered by antiquated technology – bottlenecks occur, and the result is latency and waiting. DSL may transmit data, but it is based on a technology developed for voice: traditional twisted pair copper wires. Cable high-speed internet, on the other hand, was developed specifically to transmit data. DOCSIS is a global standard that enables the addition of high-speed data transfer to the existing hybrid fiber-coaxial infrastructure used by Cable providers. For Mediacom, the latest iteration of DOCSIS 3.1 put 1 Gigabit speeds in the hands of all service areas and put Mediacom at the top of the list for providers who could extend those speeds to all customers. It's a driving force to the company’s commitment that no matter where you live, your business deserves best-in-class Business Internet.
Many factors play a part in reliability and the broadband delivery method a business chooses:
Speed ~ in rural America, DSL has limitations on the speed it can achieve. While 100 Mbps isn’t fully deployed, 40 Mbps seems to be the standard offering among this delivery tier. Cable now boasts an astounding 1 Gig speed tier to meet the demand of small businesses – and continues to widen the speed gap.
Distance ~ while voice calls can be carried over small distances, running data over DSL degrades the performance as service moves farther and farther from a phone company’s central office. Since Cable high-speed is designed from the ground up, it is not distance sensitive.
Consistency ~ with so much of a company’s operations depending on fast, reliable internet access, consistency is crucial, particularly during peak usage hours. Explore the Federal Communications Commission “Measuring Broadband America” program which stated in 2016 that DSL fell short in delivering the speeds it advertised while most of the major Cable broadband providers that were tested, actual download speeds were 100% of advertised speeds if not better.
Availability ~ the distance limitations of DSL mean that for a large percentage of a phone company’s footprint, the service will not be available. Since high-speed Cable internet doesn’t degrade over distance and runs over the same infrastructure that brings Cable TV to both densely and sparsely populated areas, it is available to a far wider customer base; in cities and rural areas alike.
What can your business do with Gigabit level internet speeds?
Imagine a day in the office and a Webex conference call gets disconnected or a video presentation continually buffers throughout, with constant stops and starts. Frustrating, right?
And it’s not just video conferences that suffer from slow or unreliable connections. If your team works with cloud applications or web-based programs, disconnections mean even longer wait times to retrieve or send important documents. This can also affect a simple credit card machine transaction – resulting in long lines and frustrated customers. When this occurs, your daily routine is compromised – but it doesn’t have to be. Businesses of all sizes are transforming due to the power of Gigabit level internet. The ability to harness massive amounts of data allows a business to be more agile and adapt to the ever-changing business landscape.
Both from a commercial and residential standpoint, we are inundated with information, and a business needs to be able to handle a growing influx of communication tools and programs. And it’s important to consider the roadmap for the future. Broadband technology should meet a business’ current bandwidth needs, but it should be positioned to meet tomorrow’s needs, as well. With Cable high-speed internet with tiers up to 1 Gigabit, businesses get a network built for the next century – not built around the last one.
Mediacom Business has upped the ante by increasing Business Internet speed levels across the board – 6x faster than our speed tiers prior. Why? Because we know and understand the technology revolution happening around us and we have the tools to fuel the part your business plays.