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How to choose an ISP Service for your small business

How to choose an ISP Service for your small business
Fabio Suffell | 29-03-17

At first look it seems that all Internet connections and providers are the same however as soon as you dive into the research, you become faced with terms like ADSL, Mbps, and Bandwidth. Now is the time to look past the simple matter of price comparisons and understand what exactly you can get out of your ISP. 

At first look it seems that all Internet connections and providers are the same however as soon as you dive into the research, you become faced with terms like ADSL, Mbps, and Bandwidth. Now is the time to look past the simple matter of price comparisons and understand what exactly you can get out of your ISP.

 
The Connection

There are three common internet types ADSL, Cable and Fiber. It’s important to note that the connection type is determined based on your location and data limit and that you generally don’t get a choice in which connection type you can have. Here’s a summary of what you need to know about each connection type:

ADSL: This is the most readily available connection type since it as uses traditional phone lines. The distance from your ISP’s exchange plays a factor in your connection speed and reliability. Average DSL download speeds in Australia are 8.2mbps which can support a handful of users simultaneously or a point-of-sale system.

  • Cable: This is the most desired connection type although not always available. It uses existing television cable lines and provides a much more reliable connection and speed. Whilst at peak times, cable internet may experience a slower connection, it will still support around a dozen simultaneous users with a maximum speed of 100mbps.

  • Fibre: Also known as the NBN is the newest connection type that is being rolled out Australia wide. It uses newly installed fiber-optic lines and is set to make DSL and Cable redundant due to its superior speed and technology. You can expect to provide internet to your TV’s, phones and users without sacrificing internet speed for up to two dozen users.

 The Equipment and Fees

The connection type at your premises and the size of your premises will determine what type of equipment you will need and any associated fees you can expect. If you’re a brand new customer, you may get your equipment and installation fees waived. It is also important to check with your ISP what networking gear is provided and if not, this equipment gear can be purchase easily by IT support companies such QBIT.    

 The Fine Print

Understand the contract and ask questions! If you’re signing up to a 24 month contract are you able to take the plan with you if you move? Is your plan flexible? Can you move from a 100GB plan one month to a 500GB plan the next? Before signing your agreement, make sure you ask to read the Critical Information Summary (CIS). The CIS is detailed summary of your plan, options and obligations that must be given/offered to you before making the agreement. Remember that a verbal signature over the phone is just as valid as a signed document when it comes to telecommunications.

 You must know that if you are making the agreement over the phone it is not a requirement that the CIS be given to you before the agreement is made (if you are making the agreement face-to-face then you must be given the CIS paperwork). It is required that the ISP offers to read the CIS to you however they are allowed to give you the option to opt-out of receiving the information. Don’t be hasty and opt-out of the CIS, you never know what information you might miss by not receiving the information.

 
Customer Service & Technical Support
 

Another important factor to take into account when choosing an ISP is based on the customer service and technical support provided by the ISP. Unfortunately failures and internet outages do occur and as a result, it is important to have an ISP with a fast response time to address and resolve the outage. If you are running a business  24 hours a day, 7 days a week then you need to select an internet provider who can cover you all the time. Be sure you know the ISP’s field response policies, and be sure they match your organization’s requirements, before signing a contract.

For any further questions regarding internet management or IT managed solutions, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced team at QBIT for any related queries on (08) 6343 0600.

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