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Fibre Internet Buying Guide

How to choose a fibre internet provider for your business

Is making the move to fibre right for you?

In today’s competitive climate, it’s vital for businesses to be on the cutting edge – and if you depend on the internet for important business functions, ensuring your internet solution offers the speed and security you need is crucial for staying at the top of your game.

From collaboration tools to cloud apps, Canadian businesses rely on the internet more than ever before, which is why increasingly reliable uptime, fast symmetrical speed and enhanced security are imperative.

Enter fibre.

Fibre internet provides virtually limitless capacity and bandwidth. What’s more, multi-path fibre networks and enhanced security packages can provide the threat protection and reliable connectivity businesses rely on to perform daily functions without interruptions and to drive innovations that could bolster their bottom lines.


What makes fibre such a reliable connection?



A shield icon illustrates the resiliency of fibre internet.

Resilience

Since fibre optic cabling is less sensitive to moisture, temperature fluctuations and other factors that can cause network instability compared to other media, fibre optic networks provide greater reliability – that means more uptime – than copper cabling. Furthermore, fibre isn’t sensitive to electromagnetic and radio signal interference, which can also cause network problems. The medium’s resilience keeps businesses connected so their day-today operations stay up and running, which is increasingly important given the ever-growing reliance on internet-based tasks. In fact, according to Gartner, network outages cost organizations an average of $5,600 per minute.

Two icons: one with an arrow pointing up for fibre internet upload speed; one with an arrow pointing down for download speed.

Symmetrical speed

When it comes to network speed, download times are only half the equation. Shifts in workplace trends and functions, such as video conferencing and sharing larger and larger files, make upload speeds just as important as download speeds. Historically, networks prioritized download speeds because users were focused on the consumption of content; as a result, upload speeds tended to lag. But fibre’s virtually unlimited capacity means information can flow simultaneously across separate channels, providing equal upload and download speeds.


If you’re considering a switch to fibre internet, this guide will answer some common questions you may have and address factors you’ll need to consider as you evaluate fibre providers.

 

Blue box with white documents entering it displaying the different types of packages offered

Are there different packages that will suit my needs, even if they change?

A key principle of cost management, in IT and in general, is to match supply with demand and to reduce over-provisioning. In other words, buy what you need and don’t pay for services that will go unused. When it comes to internet service, this means looking for a provider that can offer a variety of packages or pricing models that best match your company’s needs and usage.

Consider not only how much data you typically consume, but how predictable it is—for instance, do you typically consume the same amount every month, or do you consume relatively little and then suddenly have to consume a lot more for unexpected, short periods of time? Understanding your usage pattern is crucial to determining the most effective—and cost-effective—package so you can strike the right balance between getting what you need and minimizing the possibility of overage charges.

Also, before you commit to a package, ask whether there are costs associated with changing your level of service during your contract term.

Red arrow pointing towards a sheild infront of a computer screen is displaying cyber protection

What types of cyberthreat prevention do you offer?

While the shift online means dramatic improvements to the efficiency and ease of many business operations, it also brings with it new vulnerabilities, especially where cybersecurity is concerned. Chief among these threats is the risk of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. The vast majority of DDoS attacks send large volumes of irrelevant traffic to your network infrastructure, flooding the bandwidth and making your websites and other internet properties inaccessible to customers and employees. While fibre is not inherently more vulnerable to these attacks, the fact that such attacks are on the rise means you should look for a provider that can partner your internet service with 24/7 best-in-class monitoring and mitigation of DDoS attacks.

Unlike firewalls and on-premises security devices, which can quickly become overwhelmed by the massive traffic levels during an attack, DDoS protection is an additional security layer that exists between the internet and your network. It works by spotting and eliminating illegitimate traffic before it can reach your network and inflict harm. Not all DDoS protection is created equal, however, so it’s important to ask a potential provider about response times and the number of traffic “scrubbing” centres they have.


What is the SLA?

As with any service you purchase, when it comes to fibre internet, it’s important to understand what you are getting and what your provider’s responsibilities are. Your service-level agreement

(SLA) is a legally binding document that defines the working terms and parameters of your vendor agreement, and it is a key tool for ensuring your fibre expectations are met. SLAs are highly comprehensive. Some areas they typically encompass include:

›› Performance metrics such as speed and network availability

›› Response time (MTTR), which guarantees the window within which your vendor will respond to a reported problem

›› Procedure for reporting issues

›› Penalties, such as compensation if guaranteed services levels are not met

›› Exclusions, which are circumstances and exceptions to items guaranteed by the SLA.


What’s next?

As more business operations shift online, reliable, secure internet is more important than ever.

With fast symmetrical speed, reliable uptime and worry-free connectivity and support, fibre is the internet solution many businesses need.