Pro’s and Con’s of Business Broadband and T1 Service

I was seriously thinking of calling this article The Pros’ and Pro’s of Business Broadband and T1 Service. I for one am an advocate of such service. The speed, reliability, extensibility coupled with great service can be an asset to any organization dependent on their communications infrastructure. Whether it’s voice, data or an integrated voice and data implementation, the advantages out weigh the cost. If you’re not currently using this technology in your business, it might be time to seriously consider it. Your competition is.In order to provide an objective article, as objective as I can be given the preceding paragraph, I should point out both the pros’ as well as the cons’. As much of an advocate I am for the use of these technologies, the truth is that it’s not for everyone.Let’s start with the cons’ of using business broadband and T1 service. First there’s cost. To implement any communications infrastructure takes money. So cost is the first factor.Knowledge is the second. There is a varying degree of knowledge required in making informed decisions. There are many vendors out there who would be quick to oversell you or promise you cheap costs to gain your business. So knowledge is another factor.Hardware is the third. This could easily be wrapped into points 1 and 2 above. Depending on the infrastructure you’re considering, it could be as simple as a modem and a router, it may be much more complex than that. We’ve separated hardware out from the two points above, but obviously there is a cost factor in purchasing the hardware and knowledge factor in the use of the hardware.Let’s take a look at the other side of the coin, the pros’ of using business broadband and T1 service. Any business that relies heavily on it’s communications infrastructure, this technology is a must have. The speed alone quickens the pace within the office. Emails, downloads, research all play a factor in the productivity of each employee. No more waiting for a dial-up connection. No more getting the dial-up connection only to wait some more as web pages slowly populate your screen. Ever send that important email with an RFP attachment (Request for Proposal) or the product outline, or whatever, only to have your signal dropped? This can be very frustrating indeed. How about research? Are you researching for products or services to use within your office or perhaps wanting to check up on your competition? Looking for that information on the internet through dial-up? If that’s the case, you’re the type that REALLY knows how terribly slow dial-up can be. Broadband and T1 technology removes these issues all together with a fast, reliable and extensible infrastructure that can grow with you and your business.What about cost? I think the real question is the cost of not having this technology. But alas, let’s take a look at cost. How much time do you spend on dial-up? How many times have you had to wait or resend a proposal (or any email for that matter)? What is your time worth in dollars? As a professional, I’m sure you value your time as well as charge for it, depending on your line of business. So, factor that into the picture. How many times have your customers or prospects not been able to reach you because your phone line was tied up? What does that add up to in dollars?Knowledge? Let’s take a look here as well. Unless you’re in a technology business, no one expects you to become an expert here. You really just need to learn what’s available and even there, if you use a communications broker, you’ll get a person (or team) that listens to what your current needs are and what your growth plans are. Usually this is a free service offered by communications brokers, so you should take advantage of it.Hardware? Here to, unless you’re a very large corporation, you can outsource this. It’s not as expensive as you might think. First off, your first line of support should be your vendor. They came out and installed the equipment and ran the required communications lines. This may mean learning a little about the hardware. Basically, reset a modem; reset a router, etc. certainly not that hard to do. So the vendor is your first line of support, but if you’ve used a communications broker to obtain your communications infrastructure then they are your second line of support. A broker tends to get the ear of a vendor quicker because of the amount of volume that broker does for the vendor. The end results is that when you’re having issues and your vendor seems unresponsive to you, your communications broker can generally get the attention of the vendor (and resolution to your issues) quicker.So, cost, knowledge and hardware are but small points in the overall picture. Good business understands total return on investment. Good business knows how to make a purchase then leverage that purchase in a productive manner.Unless you’re a very, very small business chances are this technology will benefit your organization. Even if you just want to get your feet wet, so to speak, then move up to business grade DSL broadband access. All these technologies are more affordable then you may think.Get your information, get your quote from multiple vendors and make your decision. It’s just makes good business sense.