Business Internet Providers vs Dedicated Internet Providers

dedicated-internet-access

Business Internet Providers vs Dedicated Internet Providers

In FiberGuide pages, the phrases “business Internet providers” and “dedicated Internet providers” are referenced a lot, especially as they relate to providers in GeoQuote. We concede that the phrases are sometimes used interchangeably and the difference between them is not very explicit. In this article, inspired by questions from our clients, the difference between business Internet and dedicated Internet are clarified.

Almost all major business Internet providers, at least those that we work with, offer dedicated Internet access. In other words, leading business Internet providers are also dedicated Internet Providers.  However, not all Internet access packages offered by business Internet providers meet the strict definition of dedicated Internet access.

Business Internet providers design their packages based on business client requirements and budget. For some small businesses, what might be important in a business Internet package could be some add ons including a website address, custom email addresses, Internet security, cloud backup storage and the like.  Contention ratio, one of the most important requirement for dedicated Internet access may be less important. Thus, some small businesses opt for business Internet packages that do not meet the strict definition of dedicated Internet access.

What is dedicated Internet access?

The following attributes distinguish dedicated Internet access from “best effort” broadband Internet access.

Guaranteed Bandwidth:

If you are purchasing a dedicated Internet package from a business Internet provider, they must guarantee the speed. If you are purchasing 100Mbps, you should always get at least 100Mbps no matter what time of day it is and no matter how many people are online in your area. Guaranteed bandwidth can be thought of as having a 1:1 contention ratio where a channel is not shared with neighbors.

Service Level Agreement

For a service to be considered dedicated, it should come with a Service Level Agreement (SLA). SLA guarantees network uptime, latency, packet loss, and some business Internet providers also guarantee jitter.

Of all these, uptime is the most critical for all businesses.  When leasing a business Internet service to connect your sites for mission critical applications, you expect high network availability. The network service should always be there when you need it.

Uptime is a measure of the time the network is operational as opposed to downtime when the network is not functioning. Uptimes can range from 99.5% to 99.999% (the so called 5 nines) but typical providers offer services with 99.9% to 99.99% uptime. While the difference might look trivial, these uptimes translate to 9 hours of downtime per year for 99.9% and 1 hour of downtime per year for the 99.99% uptime. For some applications such a difference is a big deal.

Business Internet Providers Selection in GeoQuote

At the end of the day, the client should be very clear about what they need in a business Internet package. Use GeoQuote to search for business Internet access packages that best meet your requirements. You will be provided with a list of packages and prices to choose from. A FiberGuide associate will always be available to help you select the best package for your budget.