Nothing is worse than unreliable Internet access in a work environment. At this point, it’s clear to most that a bad Internet connection can significantly hurt productivity, which costs businesses time and money. This is why many offices with 10 or more employees opt for Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), rather than “best-effort” service which does not provide any guarantee that data is delivered or quality of service.
Although DIA can have different names (dedicated fiber, dedicated ethernet, ethernet over fiber), flavors (dedicated fixed wireless, or copper), a steeper price tag and some installation complexity — most companies will opt for a dedicated connection at offices or data centers with mission-critical operations.
Let’s explore the benefits of a DIA circuit, as well as some considerations and potential drawbacks, to help determine if dedicated Internet is right for your business.
What Is Dedicated Internet Access Anyway?
Dedicated Internet Access comes with several features that justifies a significant price delta versus a best-effort connection.
For one, you get guaranteed bandwidth. If you purchase a 100 Mbps DIA circuit, you will receive 100 Mbps of bandwidth 100 percent of the time. The service provider will actually spell this out in the contract. This is wildly different from what you’ll experience with a home or business cable connection where speeds will vary wildly based on utilization and capacity. DIA providers actually engineer their network to allow for more robust service delivery architecture, redundancy, and higher availability.
Also, you’ll get symmetric bandwidth with DIA, meaning your upload speed will match your download speed and also come with a guarantee on bandwidth. This is especially important for today’s major Internet use cases — SaaS and video conferencing.
You’ll also generally see higher connection quality with DIA, meaning vast improvements in latency, jitter, and packet loss versus a best-effort connection.
Further, your DIA circuit will be backed by a service-level agreement (SLA) that ensures a provider meets uptime, bandwidth, and other requirements at least 99 percent of the time — or your money back.
Finally, you’ll get much better customer support and maintenance coverage from your provider with DIA — mainly because you’re paying them more money. That said, the baseline telecom maintenance experience isn’t a very high bar to beat.
Potential Downsides of DIA
Ok, DIA sounds awesome. Right? Well, there are a few potential drawbacks.
The first and most apparent is price. DIA is much more expensive than regular broadband. A regular business Internet connection may cost $100 to $200 per month. DIA can run approximately $1,000 per month for 100 Mbps. However, if you’re supporting a sizable group of employees in an office, or you’re running apps out of a data center, a few hundred bucks more for Internet access is likely worth the cost. The followng chart shows some data on average DIA pricing.