25 years ago the telephone was the main medium of business communications for customers (or prospects) to connect with your business.
Of course there was always the postal service but it was primarily the telephone. Everyone knows that this is no longer the case. The telephone is still extremely important however a company's online presence is of at least equal importance! By online I am referring to both Web presence and email. With more and more service moving to the cloud we are finding businesses are requiring fewer servers at their actual physical office locations however the requirement for a quality, dependable Internet connection is more important than ever before! Below is a list of business activities in today's offices that will suffer with Internet access problems;
- Email (both inbound & outbound)
- Access to the online business applications, tendering...
- Access to your Website
- VoIP Telephone service
- Payment collection & processing
- Cloud based database backups
It becomes obvious how reliant we have become on the Internet!
So now that we have established that we all need Internet access for our business and we all currently have it...how do we know if we have the right service and value? The broadband Internet access business has also experienced major changes over the years. In the beginning it was primarily the Telephone companies that could provide this service. Next the Cable companies saw an opportunity and began to offer service. In the Thompson/Okanagan Valley the main choices are as listed below;
- Telus ADSL/Fiber
- Shaw High Speed/Fiber
- Bell Managed access
- ADSL Resellers
- Wireless providers
95% of the businesses will be getting their service from either Telus or Shaw so I will focus on the comparisons between these two.
- Typical connection speeds of 5Meg down, 1.5Meg up
- Delivered via copper cable
- Dedicated access therefore very stable speeds
- Tech support is typically outsourced overseas
- Price is typically $59.00-$89.00 depending on service/contract
- Typical connection speeds of 50Meg down, 5Meg up
- Delivered via COAX cable
- "Best effort" speed guarantee due to shared resources
- Tech support is either Kelowna or Edmonton
- Price is typically $79.00-$89.00 depending on service/contract
This is by no means an exhaustive list however it does identify some high level differences between the two. At first glance it would appear that the Shaw service at a similar price to Telus offers almost 10 times the speed. It is true that Shaw has put a lot of effort into offering a higher speed product we have to remember that the Shaw service is referred to as "Best effort". This simply implies that Shaw makes no promises that you will obtain the advertised speeds. However we have found Shaw to typically operate around 35Meg down, 4Meg up which is a very respectable speed. The only real way to ascertain if you have the correct Internet access product is to have your account reviewed by a communications consultant that you can trust. Preferably someone who does not work directly for either company but instead will do what they feel is right for your business.