Nothing in a work environment is worse than poor Internet connectivity. It is evident to everyone that a poor Internet connection will significantly hurt efficiency, which requires more time and money for companies. That’s why many offices with Ten or more staff look for a Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) instead of a “best-effort” service that does not ensure the availability of data or service quality.
While DIA may have multiple words (dedicated fiber, dedicated ethernet, ethernet over fiber), flavors (dedicated fixed wireless, or copper), a higher price tag, and some difficulty of deployment, most organizations will choose a dedicated link at mission-critical operations offices or data centers.
To help decide whether dedicated Internet is right for your company, let’s explore the pros of a DIA circuit, as well as some considerations and possible disadvantages.
What is a Dedicated Internet Access?
Many Dedicated internet access features explain a significant price differential versus a smart effort link.
You get promised bandwidth, for one thing. You can get 100 Mbps of bandwidth 100 percent of the time if you buy a 100 Mbps DIA circuit. In the contract, the service provider will spell this out. This varies wildly from what you will encounter with a link to a home or business through a cable, where speeds will vary significantly depending on usage and power. DIA companies design their network to enable a more stable infrastructure for service delivery, redundancy, and greater availability.
With DIA, users also get symmetrical bandwidth, suggesting that the upload speed will match your download speed and come with a bandwidth guarantee. This is particularly relevant for the major cases of Internet usage today, like SaaS and video conferencing.
Higher connection quality with DIA can usually be seen, implying vast improvements in latency, jitter, and packet loss versus a smart-effort connection.
Besides, your DIA link will be supported by a service-level agreement (SLA) that guarantees that at least 99% of the time, with a money-back guarantee— a service provider ensures uptime, bandwidth, and other requirements.
Eventually, the DIA provider would give you lots much more excellent customer service and maintenance availability because you pay them extra money. That means the experience of baseline telecom maintenance is not a very high bar to beat.
Possible drawbacks of Dedicated Internet Access
DIA sounds excellent, but there are a few possible drawbacks. The first and most noticeable one is the price. DIA is a lot more costly than standard broadband. It cost $100 to $200 a month for a daily business Internet connection. DIA will run at 100 Mbps for approximately $1,000 per month. However, whether you help many workers in an office or run apps out of a data center, the expense is usually worth a few hundred bucks more for Internet access. The follow-up chart shows some of the average DIA pricing information.
Contract conditions with DIA are often longer. For early termination, the average is 2 to 4 years with hefty fines. There are companies out there that do shorter terms or month-to-month, but they’re hard to find.
With DIA, installation is longer and more complex. While if a building is on-net, a cable provider can install regular business Internet in a few days, it can take DIA 30 days to install (best case) and 60 to 90 days in more demanding circumstances. DIA requires truck rolls, network provisioning, and equipment installation. Strong project management is essential to a good structure.
You may be asking yourself if the DIA is right for you after reading all of this. You’ll need to think about both the ROI and the possible liability of a poor relation to answering this issue.
Suppose you are working in an office or store environment. In that case, a good network connection can improve or maximize employees’ possible performance on the ROI side, whereas a poor-quality connection can entirely stall productivity and trigger frustration.
Although DIA can be 10x the cost of best-effort coverage in some instances, you’re just contributing to your Internet bill for a few hundred more dollars a month. Is Internet access worth skimping on if you spend hundreds of thousands on payroll and running costs and thousands or tens of thousands on a lease? If the Internet is essential to your business operations and you do something that uses high bandwidth, DIA should be the right choice on your radar.
The risk of a low link may be high in some situations. SLAs do not help best efforts and cable connections and may be vulnerable to downtime and periods of too compromised connection efficiency. Only a few outages or low latency events will cost you a lot of money and trigger confusion if you’re in a hospital, warehouse, or even a call center setting using VoIP. If the Internet is mission-critical for your organization and downtime will cost you, it must have a dedicated Internet.
How to choose the best provider?
You may be wondering how to choose the best provider at this stage. Sadly, this is not an all-encompassing solution, and things can vary significantly according to geography. Dedicated Internet Access providers are also most of the same providers who are prominent in residential broadband (Comcast, Spectrum, AT&T, Verizon, etc.). However, enterprise-only ISPs specializing in high-bandwidth business services such as Crown Castle, Zayo, and others can be considered good DIA providers.
You may need to finalize who is “on-net” or “near-net” at your address to decide who is best for your company in a given location and request pricing from the suppliers for whatever your bandwidth needs might be. Do not forget to choose on factors beyond just price once you get costs: install interval, SLA, transport (fiber vs. copper), speed, and supplier efficiency.
Many web services can help decide which providers might be on-net or near-net at an address capable of serving DIA to assist you in a more streamlined way to request pricing. Or if leverage over the process is what you want, you can call providers on your own. However, be informed that it’s not just fun to deal with telecom companies.