During the Covid-19 crisis, PCS have supported a large proportion of our clients with a move towards remote working.
And whilst this was initially thought to be a short-term solution in response to the pandemic, it has now become a tangible long-term solution because of its widespread success.
According to research from Dynata, three-quarters of people expect to work from home more often after Covid-19 passes, and almost two-fifths now want to work from home permanently.
But as remote working becomes the norm, it’s clear that this will put a strain on digital infrastructures, and we will therefore require more reliable and quicker broadband connection to facilitate it.
FREE GUIDE - HOW to get a quicker broadband connection
WHY WE NEED A QUICKER BROADBAND CONNECTION
Without taking steps to improve underlying broadband connections, businesses are at risk of remote working failing in the long-term and falling behind.
At the minute, businesses are finding that their home users have a mixture of internet connections with varying speeds. This is challenging because as an IT company it is difficult for us to support these home connections and we are unable to contact the internet service provider (ISP) to follow up on speed issues.
And even if you are utilising a VPN connection, some ISPs block the outbound connections required on home routers. Again, we are unable to support with this type issue or engage with the ISP to help with this.
Yet the solutions and services that encompass remote working and support us to accommodate this new way of working place huge pressure on these existing broadband connections. This includes things like ….
USING THE CLOUD
The pandemic and the subsequent rise in remote working has seen businesses pushed to adopt the cloud quicker than they anticipated.
And in doing so, they have ensured that they can continue to operate effectively, allowing their users to access files, emails, systems, data, and applications that would not be possible without the cloud.
Yet cloud services rely on a reliable and quick broadband connection to work effectively and requires a large slice of bandwidth to do so.
This means the speed of the underlying connection is important because if it’s not fast enough, it will dramatically affect performance and that’s a huge problem when many businesses are relying on the cloud to remain operational.
Our reliance on video conferencing to collaborate and communicate has grown substantially since the coronavirus pandemic. During the peak of the lockdown back in March, it’s estimated that downloads of applications such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and WebEx exceeded 62 million in just 10 days!
Using these online video conferencing tools should be seamless and work as though you are sat in the same room as the participants. Luckily, this has improved dramatically over the last couple of years with the move from standard stereo audio to surround sound and with the introduction of 4K video.
Yet using these types of applications drains your bandwidth, and they require bigger and a quicker broadband connection to work effectively.
Otherwise, video conferencing can have the reverse effect on collaboration.
The days of telephones having their own protocols and wiring have well and truly gone. These days, and especially since the pandemic forced remote working, many businesses are utilising hosted telephony systems to allow their staff to work from a desk at home as if they were in the office.
This means end users can make and receive calls from any location where there is an internet connection, using a vast selection of physical handsets or in most cases, using an application on their desktop instead.
The problem with this is that it uses the internet to make and receive calls and this ultimately determines the quality. Check out this handy VoIP true or false guide!
A slow broadband connection can mean that calls drop, are lost and users will experience poor quality calls, whereas a quicker broadband connection will deliver high-quality voice.
The use of customer databases has increased over the last 10 years. And what’s required to be stored on them has grown too, especially as the desire to improve the customer experience, create more upsell opportunities and personalise communications has become such a huge part of the business lifecycle.
It’s now not good enough to just store a name and address.
Customers expect you to have all previous interactions, details of purchase history, serial numbers, and other important information available at the drop of a hat.
Businesses need to be able to dip in and out of this database quickly and easily at a moment’s notice.
This is made even more difficult by unreliable and slow broadband connections.
8 WAYS TO GAIN a QUICKER BROADBAND CONNECTION
1. Review The Connection
It’s very easy to assume that your current connection is the best you can get. Check to see if there is a better package with better guarantees of speed available as these are generally more reliable than they used to be. Always be aware of when you contract ends and review your current connection regularly. You can test your internet speeds here. This will tell you if you are getting the speeds you have been promised.
2. Leased Lines
Leased lines are a great solution to gaining a quicker broadband connection. These used to be quite costly but have come down in price now there are more suppliers available. This has made the market more competitive and more affordable, so it’s worth checking whether a business grade leased line could work for you.
3. Extra Connections
Add an extra standard domestic connection and ensure only the right devices are using this connection by using strong passphrases. Although if you are considering this option, it’s worth checking if a leased line would make more commercial sense.
4. Connectivity Management
Most domestic broadband connections work on a first come first served basis. Ensure you are managing your home network so the activities most important are given the highest speed/ and priority on the network. The routers usually supplied are very basic and cannot shape the traffic to best suit bandwidth needs, so think about speaking to a company who can help you to achieve a quicker broadband connection through proper management.
5. Police The Network
Make sure that everyone who uses the broadband connection is using it for the right reasons. We see a lot of networks whose WIFI key is public knowledge and is being accessed by more devices than thought or that it can manage. You could be under the impression that only a few devices are using it when, unbeknownst to you, there’s a lot more.
6. Think Outside The Box
With the roll out of new mobile technology and the reduced costs of these solutions, check to see if a mobile connection could suffice. Investigate the rollout of 5G and whether it’s available in your area. If so, it could offer a similar or quicker broadband connection for a fraction of the cost.
7. Bespoke Suppliers
Certain regions in the UK have bespoke suppliers that can deliver fast broadband connections via wireless technology. Check to see if you fall in their area and if it would meet your business needs.
8. Plan Your internet Usage
Whilst this is not always possible, it’s useful to plan what you are using and when so that you can prioritise internet heavy usage during quieter times of the working day. Internet speeds tend to suffer during congested peak hours that can stretch from lunchtime to around 9:30pm, as others in the area, or even in your own home, compete for broadband resource that could impact your company connection.
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IT’S LIKE A CAKE …
The best way to describe why we need a quicker broadband connection is to use the analogy of the birthday cake. The more people at the party, the smaller the slice of cake.
Imagine your home connection as the cake. People are normally unhappy with a small slice of cake and will cause chaos as a result. The answer? Review your broadband options and get a bigger, faster cake.
Not sure where to start? PCS can help with that!
GET EXPERT ADVICE ON YOUR BUSINESS BROADBAND OPTIONS
Don’t suffer with poor speeds and unreliable broadband connections. We have a team of experts who can advise on the best broadband connections to meet your current and future needs. Call us on 0333 150 6780, email or fill out the contact form below and a member of the team will be in touch.