How a fiber-based product can provide scalability for your business’s Internet needs

As a business grows, so does its technology needs. And if you’ve reached 20 or more employees, it may be time to move to a fiber-based product for your Internet needs.

With fiber, a company can increase its bandwidth simply by calling its provider, instead of going through the hassle of having equipment physically installed as with a T1 line, says Ryan Batey, enterprise sales manager for Atlanta with Comcast.

“The beauty of it is the scalability and reliability of the product,” says Batey. “It allows the Internet connection to grow with the business’s needs, getting away from a legacy network to a next-generation network.”

Smart Business spoke with Batey about how fiber-based technology can help your business operate more quickly and efficiently as your data needs grow.

How is the use of data changing the way businesses access the Internet?

Technology needs have reached the point where businesses are requesting larger bandwidths. In the old world, T1 lines were really popular. But if you needed to increase your bandwidth, you had to add another T1 line, increasing your bandwidth in increments of 1.5 Mbps. With T1 lines, your provider has to go in and physically install another T1 line. After you bundle seven T1 lines, you have to go to a larger DS3 circuit, requiring you to buy equipment with a DS3 card, which is capital-intensive.

With the scalable solutions available today with fiber-based products, you can start anywhere from 1 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps on the same circuit. As the needs of your business increase, so can the bandwidth. Fiber-based solutions give you the ability to buy a very specific bandwidth because you’re not restricted by the size of a T1 line that is very typical of legacy networks. And when you increase your bandwidth, even if you’re going from 1 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps, your customer interface and your equipment stay the same. The configuration is remotely changed by your provider, requiring just a few keystrokes to open the port.

What are the benefits of employing a scalable Internet solution?

No. 1 is the next-generation Ethernet technology handoff. Every office today that has computers, their local area network (LAN) is wired with Ethernet, so it’s a simple handoff for customers. Scalability is also a plus, as it can grow as your business does. And if you’re using a fiber-based product, you get reliability and a connection that is proactively monitored 24/7/365.

In addition, fiber can increase efficiency and free employees to do tasks other than waiting for data to load. For example, with a 1.5 Mbps T1 line, it would take you approximately 66 seconds to download a 100 Mbps file; with a 100 Mbps fiber connection, it would take approximately one second, and since the circuit is symmetrical you can upload and download at the same time and the same speed.