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Is Having a Dedicated Internet Connection Right for Your Business?

In the 1990s, the Netscape Navigator web browser – the first such application a lot of consumers used to access any internet service – become infamous for its "broken image icon," which appeared whenever a webpage asset like a photo didn't load. Resembling a piece of paper with distinctively colored shapes, this icon was a reliable sign something had gone wrong: Usually, either the page was misconfigured or the internet connection was problematic.

Internet service has come a long way since the dial-up connections of Netscape's heyday, but it's still not up to par for numerous businesses reliant on shared connections. Standard plans such as cable internet look OK on paper, with high download speeds, and in practice they can handle undemanding tasks including web browsing and email. However, they struggle with real-time and web-based applications, most notably VoIP, video conferencing, and many cloud services, leaving such solutions unable to match the performance of dedicated internet access(DIA). Without DIA, there's always the risk of a broken image icon-esque failure when accessing critical apps.

When high-speed internet isn't enough: The shortcomings of shared connectivity

Regardless of its advertised Mbps, a consumer-grade internet connection makes tradeoffs that increase its affordability while reducing its performance relative to a dedicated connection running on a private fiber or copper network:

  •        Bandwidth is shared: The service provider distributes bandwidth among local subscribers, meaning the network resources available to you depend on the activities of your neighbors and the time of the day. There's no guarantee you'll ever enjoy peak performance in day-to-day use.
  •        Throughput is low: Bandwidth you pay for only applies to the access circuits connecting to the internet service provider's backbone network, which could itself be highly congested. It's like having a quick on-ramp onto a highway that's overwhelmed with traffic.
  •        Speeds aren't symmetrical: Upload speeds are far slower than download speeds. The disparity reflects consumer usage patterns for music or video streaming, which only require ample downlink speed. For businesses, insufficient upload speeds will sharply limit communications with branch offices and the utilization of cloud-based services.

The answer to our original question of whether your organization needs DIA is, in many cases, "yes" due to these limitations on modern workflows, particularly ones involving distributed workforces and cloud services.

A 2018 Logic Monitor survey of 300 enterprise decision-makers found that respondents expected more than 80 percent of their workloads to be in the cloud by 2020. But shared connections cannot guarantee the high performance that an entire class of largely cloud-oriented business applications – from remote desktops to VoIPand unified communicationssuites – inherently requires. The good news is that DIA, via leased lines, can actually deliver.


Dedicated leased lines for DIA, under the microscope

DIA connections are private, meaning that unlike shared internet connectivity they are reserved for your company's activities and uncontested by network traffic from the public internet. They have much higher throughput, provide symmetrical speeds and adhere to a service-level agreement (SLA) specifying the levels of uptime, latency, packet loss and jitter you can expect. The SLA is essentially a guarantee that your DIA lines will hit the metrics necessary to ensure the viability of performance-sensitive applications.

Terminology around DIA can seem confusing, since there are many related terms – private circuit, dedicated line, leased line, data line – for the same fundamental concept. The simplest way to understand DIA is as a subscription to a service provider's leased lines, which may be based on dedicated fiber, Ethernet-over-Copper (EoC), T1/T3, or fixed wireless technology. A dedicated leased line is an always-on connection offering bidirectional bandwidth for customers connecting to the service provider's network. All of the transport possibilities listed above deliver consistent high performance connectivity suitable for TCP and real-time apps, with a few notable differences between them.

Fiber is most synonymous with DIA because of its distinctive strengths as a low-friction option that can be extended with minimal degradation – and no electromagnetic interference – over great distances. The speed, consistency, high bandwidth and low latency of fiber set it apart from the pack, and Telesystem delivers these unique benefits across 4,000 miles of private fiber routes in the U.S.

On the other hand, EoC is a cost-effective alternative that harnesses the power of ubiquitous twisted pair copper lines for dependable private network connectivity with high electrical conductivity. Fixed wireless offers low-latency point-to-point connections, while traditional T1 and T3 lines make symmetrical dedicated internet connections feasible even in remote areas.

At Telesystem, we give you dedicated connectivity you can count on. Learn more about our DIA and broadband options on our network services page, or contact our team for additional information.



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