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Why your internet service is about more than staying online even as pandemic restrictions subside

New digital services and revenue streams are here to stay, making business even more reliant on the internet than before. 

Woman greeting delivery man at door

As more small- and medium-sized businesses adjust their operations to adapt to evolving restrictions, many are offering new (to them) services, such as curbside pickup, home delivery and other e-commerce options to keep their revenue flowing. Of course, these operations depend heavily on internet services that must be highly dependable in ways that are unique to businesses—especially given the margins so many companies are managing right now. 

Just as the new revenue streams so many businesses have either accelerated or outright created will probably be ones they continue to nurture post-pandemic, many organizations will realize that a truly business-grade internet connection is a worthwhile investment.

So, what makes internet business-grade?

Reliable connectivity
The speed of internet service your business should have depends on what your business uses the internet for. For many small- to medium-sized businesses, one of the several speeds offered by most internet services will probably suffice. However, if your business frequently relies on HD video conferencing, real-time access to cloud-hosted applications, sharing large files and databases, and other high-data demands, fibre internet, which offers symmetrical upload and download speeds of up to 10 Gbps, is something you should consider (especially since fibre connectivity also enables a host of other beneficial solutions you may find transformative). But speed, no matter how fast, means little if your connection is prone to cutting out, continually grinding your data—and your business—to a sudden halt. With fibre internet, the connection is typically dedicated and backed up with redundant pathways, so uptime is virtually guaranteed.

However, with non-fibre internet connections, such as DSL and cable, guaranteed uptime is elusive to say the least. These connections can cut out because of network congestion, construction accidents, equipment failure and more. That’s why a truly business-grade non-fibre internet service should offer a wireless backup connection, preferably one that seamlessly takes over if anything takes down your primary connection. Whether your business is a small gym now broadcasting classes to your members online or a local bakery dropping off birthday cakes at customers’ porches, the comfort of a continuous connection probably seems more valuable now than ever. But isn’t it always worth having? And if your new digital ventures prove themselves successful, it’s all the more reason to ensure you have a reliable internet connection.

Security
Crises may bring out the best in people, but they can also bring out the worst. That’s why there’s been an uptick in cybercrime since mass quarantines began. With so many people now working from home, phishing scams, some falsely offering help during the pandemic, lead to ransomware attacks that do exactly the opposite: attempt to extort businesses at time when they’re most vulnerable. DDoS attacks, which flood your IT infrastructure with illegitimate traffic, rendering your online properties inaccessible to customers and employees, are also on the rise for the same reason.

Attempting to mitigate these threats using peripherals and other third-party solutions means more time looking for a provider, more investments and more bills. Given that DDoS attacks and malware are internet-based threats, shouldn’t a business-grade internet service provide for the necessary protections against them? Defense against such attacks should be an optional add-on solution for your chosen internet service if it’s not automatically included. And not just in times of crisis. Certainly, the need for readily available, seamless and cost-effective security seems more pronounced now. But shouldn’t it always be the case?

ISP support
All ISPs (internet service providers) offer customer support, but there’s a difference between regular “same-day” technical support and the kind of support many businesses really need for their internet. In terms of technical support, it should be 24/7, especially if you’ve ramped up e-commerce as means of making up for lost in-store revenues—and if you plan to maintain or grow your online transactions.

But support shouldn’t just be technical. Businesses want their solution providers to demonstrate that they understand their needs. Your service provider should help you use your current solutions more effectively and set you up with more solutions that can help optimize your operations and maximize your bottom line—pandemic or not.

The internet has been crucial to business success for a long time now. But because of all the alternative sales and service channels so many businesses are trying to build or grow during lockdown, the pandemic is bringing to light how simply having an internet connection is not enough. For an internet service to truly fulfill a business’s needs, it should provide a level of reliability, security and support that business can count on in good times and bad—because that level of service can actually be the difference between good times and bad.

To learn more about business-grade internet services, speak to a Rogers representative today.