11 Huge Business Benefits of Fiber Internet Connectivity
A fiber-optic Internet installation can offer numerous benefits to business IT pros and landlords.
Due to the relative newness of this technology, you may be wondering if the benefits outweigh the cost or cons.
While fiber-optic Internet connectivity is a much newer technology than broadband Internet on copper cable, many businesses have found significantly higher returns on their investment in fiber.
Fiber Connectivity: 11 Business Benefits of Fiber Internet
Fiber-optic connectivity can lend a great advantage to companies of all sizes, particularly organizations that use the cloud for apps or data storage. Fiber coupled with voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephony is a powerful combination for business communications. In this blog, you'll learn 11 major ways your company can benefit from fiber connectivity.
As a business telecommunications company in the Washington, DC metro area for over two decades, we understand what business owners need from their internet providers. They need to make sure their employees stay productive with high speeds and maximum uptime. And if there is an issue, they need a provider that will respond and fix the problem quickly.
That's the reason we built Atlantech Online the way we did. We built our network with reliability and redundancy as priorities. And we built our peerless, dedicated, and knowledgeable service department to make sure you get a local human on the phone who really cares about resolving your issues.
Fiber Optic Internet
What is it?
Fiber optic internet is data traveling through cables filled with plastic fibers or thin glass. It’s super fast, up to twenty times faster than cable. With cable internet, when traffic is high, network speed is slower.
What are the Three Types of Fiber Optic Cable Internet?
There are three types, and each delivers fiber optic internet at different speeds.
- FTTN (Fiber-to-the-node): Fiber optic cables reach within one mile of your building. It’s the slowest of the three.
- FTTC (Fiber-to-the-curb): Fiber gets to the utility pole outside your building, where a coaxial cable takes over.
- FTTP: (Fiber-to-the-premises): Tee fastest and most reliable connection; the fibers come directly to your door.
What are the disadvantages of fiber optic?
Before we look at the benefits of fiber connectivity, are there any drawbacks? Only a few.
- Cables are more fragile. Because they’re made of glass, fiber optic cables are more fragile than their copper counterparts. If you bend them too much, they might break.
- It’s more expensive. Fiber optic cables cost more to produce. Installation can be more expensive, too, due to the special test equipment needed.
- Reach. As of April 2022, 43 percent of the United States has access to fiber optic internet.
Now that you know the disadvantages let’s look at the many benefits of fiber optic internet for your business.
Fiber-optic internet is much faster than even the highest-speed copper internet connections, with available options ranging from 5 Mbps to 100 Gbps. During periods of high demand for internet access, your business should not notice the internet slowing down.
Research indicates that slow internet connections cost employees "one week per year of productivity." While the time your teams spend waiting on slow internet can seem minor, it adds up significantly over time. Your internet connectivity should never inhibit productivity. It should be a tool that supports your employees' desire to work productively.
2. Cloud Access
From customer relationship management (CRM) tools to data storage, the cloud is an important business tool for apps, hosting, and more. 96% of organizations are now using the cloud in some capacity. The speed and bandwidth capabilities of fiber internet mean faster access to your data and applications stored in the cloud.
Your business can benefit from fewer delays in accessing cloud-hosted information via your software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools and other platforms. This means your sales and customer service representatives will no longer face delays in communicating with prospects or customers.
As businesses move more and more services to the cloud, fiber-optic internet is becoming critical.
Fiber internet connectivity is more reliable than copper because fiber is much stronger than copper.
Fiber-optic internet is not susceptible to inclement weather conditions, which can damage or stall data transmission via copper cabling. Fiber is also resistant to human or electrical interference unless fibers are physically cut.
Unreliable internet connections can have real costs to businesses. Any amount of unplanned downtime can bring business communications and productivity to a complete stop. Reliability is necessary if your company requires an Internet connection to make phone calls or access applications.
4. Signal Strength
With traditional broadband internet using DSL or Ethernet over Copper, the signal degrades as the user moves away from the switch.
The signal strength of fiber-optic internet does not degrade as quickly over distance. Organizations in relatively large spaces could benefit from better signal strength throughout the facility.
This could be particularly true for employees in workspaces located far away from a telecommunications room, which may be negatively impacted by distance with broadband internet.
For businesses with a high need for data transmission, it's relatively easy to "hit the cap" on your cable internet bandwidth. While fiber-optic internet for business is not truly unlimited, the bandwidth availability is significantly higher, and speed does not decrease as bandwidth demands increase. The following user activities can place particularly high demands on business bandwidth:
- SIP trunking
- Web Conferencing
- Streaming high definition video (example: training video)
- File sharing
- Cloud Applications
Signs of low bandwidth availability can include slow speeds, delays, and pixelated video quality.
Suppose your current Internet connection is insufficient to support your company's legitimate bandwidth demands for telephone service via SIP trunking, video conferencing, or accessing cloud applications. In that case, you could significantly benefit from an upgrade to fiber-optic Internet connectivity.
6. Symmetric Speed
"Symmetric speed" is a term used to refer to equal upload and download times on an internet connection. With fiber internet, your employees can benefit from equal upload and download times.
Is symmetric speed necessary? It's certainly not critical for business operations, but it's beneficial. TechZine writes that improvements in symmetric speed are improvements that reflect "how networks are really used."
Today's employees are more likely to upload video content and files or make phone calls while downloading content while they work than they were a decade ago. Symmetric speed enables users to simultaneously accommodate heavy demands on downloads and uploads via their data connection.
Latency is a term used to describe delays that occur while processing data over an Internet connection. Fiber-optic Internet eliminates many of the latency issues users experience on cable Internet, particularly when downloading or uploading video or high-definition content. The business benefits of lowering your latency could include:
- Better voice quality for VoIP users
- Ability to move more apps to the cloud
- Downloads and uploads of huge files without disruption
- Improved collaboration between employees
Would-be hackers and information thieves can gain access to business cable Internet with relative ease, due to cable tapping or other relatively simple methodologies.
The only way to penetrate fiber-optic Internet is to physically cut the fibers, which will cause the signal to disappear. Fiber-optic Internet is one powerful way to increase your company's protection against cyber crime.
The average cost of an information security breach is $3.8 million. Companies that leak protected information can face stiff financial penalties and customer defection.
While media coverage of high-profile security breaches often focuses on large organizations, companies of all sizes are at significant risk of an attack.
While upgrading to fiber-optic Internet connectivity won't mitigate all of your organization's risks, it's certainly an important means of protection.
9. Resistance to Interference
Copper cable Internet that supports broadband is sensitive to electromagnetic interference, which can be caused by the proximity of heavy machinery.
Fiber Internet signals do not degrade or disappear due to electromagnetic interference.
Suppose your organization shares a telecommunications room with other businesses, fiber-optic Internet can protect your connectivity from disappearing if other organizations are using equipment that can interfere with your connection in the same space.
10. Cost Savings
Fast Internet is "widely considered" to be a productivity tool for businesses. As mentioned above, eliminating speed issues could result in a week's worth of productivity increases each year.
If your business suffers from unreliable connectivity due to region or weather, you could be losing thousands of dollars each year. Productivity issues that are directly attributed to slow or unreliable cable Internet could disappear with fiber.
Perhaps more importantly, your business will gain flexibility and scalability with fiber-optic Internet connectivity. If your IT team is hoping to move more applications and services to the cloud, a fiber connection can support these initiatives.
Software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud storage, and VoIP are all business services that have enormous potential for cost savings and benefit significantly from fiber connectivity.
11. Support for HD Video
For many companies, teleconferencing and video conferencing are important tools for employee training, marketing, and sales. With a fiber-optic Internet connection, businesses can increase their investment in video conferencing as a business tool without sacrificing available bandwidth.
Research indicates that increased investment in video conferencing can save companies thousands of dollars per employee each year or even month, particularly if you're able to cut out excessive business travel.
Ready for Fiber Connectivity?
Depending on your area, your vendors' options may be limited to Atlantech Online and Verizon FiOS. While Google Fiber, AT&T, Comcast, and other vendors are working to extend their nationwide coverage, there are no extensive options available in many areas.
Despite the increased costs of fiber internet service and the financial investment required for installation, many businesses believe they can achieve a high ROI due to productivity and availability gains.
To learn more about the benefits of fiber-optic internet connectivity for businesses of all sizes or receive a quote, contact Atlantech Online to speak with an expert business communications consultant.