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Speeding up your connection

Don’t let Internet latency slow your business down


A group of people sitting and facing a woman presenting something on a big screen

It’s a historic day for your startup: Your application is switching to beta and you’re simulcasting the launch on multiple online platforms. You step to the podium, your app login screen displayed on an LCD screen behind you. To introduce your app, you enter your credentials….and the progress indicator spins in the browser tab. You try browser after browser—but the online video feed has frozen.

It doesn’t have to be app launch day for Internet latency to affect your business negatively. On a standard day, poor bandwidth throughput disrupts your whole team’s performance, ultimately impacting the bottom line. Productivity for employees working in graphic design, application development, sales and project management, in particular, can come to a standstill.

Internet speed also affects your customer relationships. People are increasingly looking to engage your business in the digital world, regardless of what you offer. Increased adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS), the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine to Machine (M2M) communication means your connection speed needs to be not only fast and stable but also scalable, to support the demands of many devices simultaneously.

Startups rely on high-speed connectivity

Many established Canadian businesses wouldn’t exist without the Internet. Hootsuite, Shopify and Desire2Learn (D2L) are a few examples, and they are very supportive of other “born on the web” startups. Across Canada, emerging businesses are using high-speed connectivity in a variety of ways. For example,

  • Vancouver’s Awesense helps hydro utilities detect power escaping the grid due to errors or inefficiency.
  • Montreal’s Automat develops AI bots for conversational marketing, enabling virtual agents to engage consumers in pre-sales discussions about products like L’Oréal or Lancôme cosmetics.
  • Markham’s Bark ’n Yapp connects dog owners and the businesses that cater to them.
  • Fredericton’s Blue Spurs helps students learn the fundamentals of IoT.

How startups can maximize their Internet connection speed

For fast Internet, you need to contract services from an Internet service provider with stable and concentrated connectivity in your area. Alongside high-speed connectivity, your network hardware must be correctly installed, including: routers, modems and gateways; WiFi access points; switches and controllers; network access control systems; and extenders and repeaters.

Having the right hardware and related software is essential. Many environmental factors can impact data throughputs, like steel struts, aluminum doors or concrete walls. Mirrors, aquariums, microwaves, wireless devices, garage door openers, monitoring devices and neighbouring Internet can also impact your connection speed.

Having a fast connection to support your employees, customers, contractors and device traffic is critical. Ensure you either implement employee “terms of use” policies for streaming media such as video or audio, or have bandwidth available to support such heavy data usage an ongoing basis.

Non-profits like Startup Canada, the Canadian Digital Media Network and CANARIE are working to encourage the CRTC to make high-speed Internet access an essential service in Canada. Internet service providers continue to grow their broadband network footprint across our country; look for one that provides Internet speeds several times faster than CRTC requirements. As the demand for broadband and cellular access continues to grow exponentially, your provider should be able to continue offering the speed you need.

Working with respected Internet providers, ensuring the right hardware/software interface and supportive infrastructure, and implementing a “terms of use” policy are all key to increasing your Internet speed. But in a tough market, Canadian startups may find more ways to optimize bandwidth themselves—so keep an eye out for such digital leaders.