The Internet connection you choose for your business can have a major impact on employee satisfaction, productivity and your bottom line. Unfortunately, most small business owners don’t have the time to invest in thoroughly investigating all their options. As a result, they often wind up making a hasty, less than ideal choice.
Cable Internet service is offered through the television cable provider in your area. Cable Internet is almost always offered as a stand-alone option, or at a slightly discounted rate when bundled with a television cable package and phone service. Cable Internet requires a modem and professional installation by a technician, as a cable must be run to your office.
The process of installing fiber-optic Internet is usually more intrusive and takes a bit longer than cable. That’s because unlike cable which uses your business’ existing cable line, fiber-optic Internet requires that a fiber optic cable be run to your business. Fiber Internet (FiOS) is carried by a strand of lightweight, thin, optic fiber via modulated light. As thin as a human hair, these strands of optically pure glass can carry digital information over impressively long distances. Just like cable, FiOS is usually installed by a professional.
Round One: Reliability
Cable Internet is considered a reliable Internet service. However, if your business is located in an area that frequently experiences cable outages or interruptions, you can expect your Internet service to also be impacted. If your business must have Internet to operate, it’s a good idea to have a backup Internet access option available.
Fiber-optic is generally considered as reliable as cable. FiOS is considered a passive system, which means power does not need to be applied within the system network. So, during power outages, a fiber-optic network is less likely to be interrupted or go down. Also, because the conductor is glass, it does not generate electricity, so fiber is immune to interference that can be caused by nearby power lines or high-voltage electrical equipment. Plus, with fiber-optic, there is less chance of your computer sustaining lightening related damage.
Round Two: Availability
Cable is notoriously accessible. In fact, its availability is one of its greatest advantages over fiber. If your business can receive cable television, it can most likely access cable Internet. While cable is widely available, it still isn’t available in some rural locations. If your office doesn’t have access to cable television, you won’t have access to cable Internet either.
Fiber-optic Internet isn’t offered in as many markets as cable, but its availability is expanding. However, because FiOS requires the installation of new cable, it will take some time before it reaches as many markets as cable has and those located in rural areas may be the last to be serviced.
Tune in tomorrow for rounds 3 and 4!
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