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November 21, 2017
4:13 AM
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Lower Cost Business Broadband Options
T1, EoC, Cable and fixed wireless are all viable options to save business broadband cost

By: John Shepler

With finances tight, most companies are looking for ways to save money without compromising the operations of the business. Telecom and networking costs are often eyed because they tend to be substantial monthly expenses. Well, go ahead and look closer. There’s money to be saved on your business broadband services.

What You Pay Is Not Necessarly the Lowest Cost
What has given some managers the idea that their costs are fixed and non-negotiable is that they signed their original contract years ago with the one vendor in town who could provide the service - the local telephone company. That’s rarely the situation any more. Deregulation and technology developments have spawned a plethora of competitors who each have something to offer.

T1 Is The Gold Standard
Let’s take that dedicated T1 line for instance. T1 is still an excellent choice for business broadband. You get bandwidth that you don’t share with anyone else, high availability, the option to bond lines to increase bandwidth, and the security of a private line that runs directly to your location. But, oh, the cost. Aren’t T1 lines the expensive way to go?

Now, Save On T1 Lines
The price of T1 lines has come down dramatically in recent years. If you are still on an old contract or just paying month to month since your contract expired, you are probably missing out on a big cost reduction. What you want to do is get a new set of competitive T1 line quotes for your location and see what you’ll pay for the next three years, not the last ten.

Ethernet Over Copper Is Newer and Costs Less
For about the same price as T1, you can now get Ethernet over Copper in many business districts. EoC gives you a simpler interface since it runs the same Ethernet you have on your network, only standardized for long distances over telco copper cable. For the price of a 1.5 Mbps T1 line, you can probably get 2 Mbps or even 3 Mbps Ethernet over Copper. The one hitch is that this new technology isn’t available everywhere. It is distance limited to several miles or less from the nearest telephone company central office.

Cable Broadband Offers Enormous Bandwidths
How about business class Cable broadband? If the local cable operator (MSO) has lines running by your location, you may be able to get 25, 50 or even 100 Mbps cable broadband for the same price as that T1 line. Cable offers a lot of bandwidth for the money, but it is a shared service so bandwidth fluctuates. That may or may not matter to you. Also, upload bandwidth is only a fraction of download bandwidth. That doesn’t matter for Web browsing, watching video, downloading software updates or email. It could be a limiting factor if you are use to constantly uploading large files to remote data centers or other business locations.

Fixed Wireless Available Fast and Cheap
Want to pay even less and still get reliable broadband capability? Consider fixed wireless broadband running on 3G. This is similar to what you use for a laptop computer or smartphone, but designed as a box to install in your retail store, construction site or other business location. Bandwidth is typical for 3G, up to 1 Mbps or so for downloads and much less for uploads. But if all you need is point of sale connectivity and perhaps email and other occasional Web use, you could pay a third the cost of a T1 line and have installation within the week.

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