4 Things to Consider When Getting Business Internet

Written by Sonic Team
February 25, 2023 | 4 min read

Getting stuck with an unreliable internet service provider (ISP) can have serious consequences on workforce productivity and customer experience. Your ISP should be the backbone of your business, not a hassle or source of frustration. Businesses need to have a service provider that supports their employees and sets them up for success, so carefully consider these 4 things when choosing an internet provider for your business.

We understand your business needs will always be unique; this list is not meant to be an exhaustive resource. This article aims to cover the most important aspects when picking the best business internet provider for your company.

1. Bandwidth
How much bandwidth does your business need?

Bandwidth measures how much data can pass through your network within a fixed period. Your network’s bandwidth performance depends on the number of active devices connected to your network. When deciding your bandwidth needs, consider how many laptops, smartphones, tablets, or streaming devices are taxing your company’s internet connection. We suggest that you allow for more bandwidth usage than predicted. Think of it as a safety net for your internet service’s performance. Make sure you understand your network’s needs to ensure that you’re partnering with an ISP that can provide the bandwidth for your company. Your bandwidth requirement should factor in employee headcount, the number of devices connected to your network, how many will require internet access, and the types of applications used by those devices. Planning for future expansion and business continuity can help you successfully calculate your bandwidth needs.

2. Speed
Is the internet being provided symmetrical?

There is more to your internet speed than just bandwidth usage though. While bandwidth is the amount of data that can be moved, your upload and download speeds represent how fast that data can go. Download speeds may seem like the obvious priority for your internet connection. However, the speed your system can upload data will also drastically affect your company’s internet experience. For example, your upload speed dictates how smoothly that morning video call is going. Make sure you know your upload and download speeds. While many ISPs promote their fast data speeds, they fail to disclose the fact that these only apply to their rate of download. While downloading data may go seamlessly, your internet’s upload speed can be a fraction of the advertised quality. Symmetrical data is what you want when you are looking to have the best possible internet experience for your business. Your internet is symmetrical when your internet provider gives the same priority to their upload speeds as they do their download speeds. Symmetrical internet is the key when trying to decide whether or not your internet service is strong enough for your business.

3. Cybersecurity
Does your service provider protect your data responsibly?

When it comes to security tools, the best defense is a mix of tactics on your end and a partnership with an ISP that protects your data on their end. While no one technique is going to offer full-proof protection, methods like threat monitoring, firewalls, and anti-virus solutions are worth considering. Using each alongside another can go a long way in developing a dedicated system of security. When choosing your ISP though, transparency should be your priority over a list of security features. Sonic limits its logging interval to two weeks for example, as opposed to other major ISPs like Comcast or AT&T who are known to hold onto that data history for up to 18 months. Sonic also monitors overall network activity to detect potential intrusions and may even block traffic to or from customers when a denial-of-service attack is in progress.

The important part is that Sonic has all of this spelled out in our terms of service. Make sure whatever internet provider you go with has the same dedication to an open and fair internet. While the need for your own IT team will continue to increase, when it comes to the security of your network, your ISP should also play a role in that security. When making sure your ISP is providing the speeds your company needs, service-level agreements are critical. A service-level agreement (SLA) is a contract that an internet service provider and a customer commit to. A good ISP’s SLA will provide service metrics that are guaranteed. Make sure you know the terms of your SLA and make sure your ISP knows that you know. This will save you headaches.

4. Support
Does their customer support take care of your company?

We all hope that once an internet provider installs service, that will be the last time we have to deal with the technical side but engaging with your ISP’s customer support team will always be part of the process. Picking a provider with a support team dedicated to solving service issues, providing technical support, and facilitating product add-ons or upgrade inquiries is essential. Regardless of the industry you are in, you need to be able to depend on your ISP should anything go wrong. How long does it take for the service provider to respond and solve your technical issue? Being stuck on hold or waiting for repairs can cost time, and time is money for your bottom line.

Bonus Tip
One final secret, get an account executive. Someone local also helps.

While the above aspects cover the basics of a good internet service provider, there is one other feature that is worth the time and money — a dedicated account executive. When fielding an ISP for your business, look for hands-on assistance is worth the time. A big differentiator in partnering with Sonic Business Internet is that you get access to a dedicated Account Executive. They will work with you from the inception of your relationship until your company leaves Sonic. We're hoping you stay! Your company then has a dedicated team that is uniquely knowledgeable in the technical requirements of your business. Sonic builds custom solutions for our clients that assist each business in generating revenue. The relationship is built on delivering what we said we would when we said we would deliver it. As a business grows and changes, its overall internet needs will as well. Finding an internet provider that has the dedication, speed, and scope to partner with your progress will always be paramount. Find a provider that can grow and scale with you, like Sonic Business.

Interested in learning more about Sonic Business services? Schedule a free consultation today.