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A #TechinThree video explaining the differences between business broadband and Ethernet.

The internet is a key component of any modern business but the quality of service and performance each one receives is all dependent on the type of data connection it pays for.

Many company owners are unsure what separates a business-only solution from the one that they use at home. What’s more, too many think that ADSL or fibre broadband are their only options.

In this #TechinThree episode, Andrew Frost gives a basic introduction to business connectivity and explains their suitability.


For reference, here’s a still of this week’s whiteboard!

What is business broadband and ethernet

Video transcript

Hello and welcome to another edition of #TechInThree.

I’m going to talk to you today about business connectivity because contrary popular belief there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution.

As always, we’ll try and keep jargon to a minimum, so let’s get started.

When we talk about connectivity, we are essentially talking about a data connection. And the reason why we don’t call it an internet connection is because a data connection can carry more than just the internet, such as voice calls.

Now at home most of us will use a residential broadband connection. But this type of service isn’t really suitable for businesses because the speeds that you receive can be affected by the general public. For example, thousands of people coming in from work all at the same time and deciding to stream Netflix movies will end up slowing down your connection.

This is why it’s important that organisations use business-only connectivity solutions, which are basically run on a network dedicated solely for business use. These provide a better quality of service as every man and his dog aren’t using the same connection.

Now there are two different types of business connectivity solutions – shared and dedicated. Shared solutions are the different types of broadband and they are exactly what they mean – a service you share with other businesses.

Dedicated, on the other hand, means that your connection is private and dedicated to your business, ensuring you receive a guaranteed speed no matter what. Ethernet is a dedicated type of connection, but I’ll come to that a little bit later.

So let’s look at the two available business broadband solutions.

First we have ADSL broadband and this is a basic broadband package that’s most suitable for home workers, sole traders or very small businesses.

An ADSL solution is classed as ‘shared’, which as I’ve already said means that you share the service with other businesses, so speeds can vary.

The speeds you get are ultimately dependent on how many other businesses are using the connection at the same time and how much bandwidth your staff or colleagues use – in simple terms: how dependent they are on the internet for their job.

For example, ADSL isn’t really suitable for businesses that need to regularly upload large files for web hosting or conduct video conferencing because it can’t offer guaranteed speeds.

Now the other broadband solution available is fibre broadband – sometimes referred to as FTTC/FTTP.

This is also a broadband connection so it’s key to remember that this is also a ‘shared’ connection. But the difference with this solution compared to ADSL is that part of the journey here (refer to screen) is taken over a fibre cable instead of copper, which to you and me just means that it speeds up part of the journey.

This means you get faster speeds than ADSL, so it is more suitable for businesses that want higher upload and download speeds, or want to utilise cloud-based applications like Dropbox or Google Drive.

It’s probably most appropriate for businesses with about 5-20 employees, but again – its suitability is all dependent on usage. For example, the connection could be perfect for a business with 20 staff that just use email. But the business next door might need to upload files all day, so even though they only have 5 employees, they use the same amount of bandwidth and any more users will slow down the overall speeds.

It’s important to note that fibre broadband is only available in certain areas of the UK at the moment, so you will need to check your eligibility.

And finally, I want to quickly talk about Ethernet.

We know that broadband solutions are shared and can be affected by other users making big demands, but Ethernet is different because it is a private, dedicated connection that is delivered directly to your business.

There are also different flavours of Ethernet depending on your size of business, but what all of them do is offer security, reliability and guaranteed speeds – which is perfect for businesses that use online applications such as VoIP or video conferencing.

So if you have more than 20 users that require the internet and use a lot of bandwidth, Ethernet is probably the most suitable option.

So that’s it. I hope that has helped give you a little bit more clarity and an introduction to business connectivity.

Join us again next time for another episode of #TechinThree.