20 July 2015


The Best Internet Options for Small Businesses in the DC Metro Area

Fiber Connectivity by Tom Collins

It’s a given that your business needs speedy, reliable internet access. What's less clear, though, is who will provide the best service that will meet the specific needs of your company. In each region of the country, and, for that matter, for each company, the answer to that question is going to differ.

In the Washington, DC metropolitan area, businesses have a number of options for internet service, ranging from the big name national companies to local providers.

The Best Internet Providers for Businesses in the DC Metro Area

It goes without saying that every company needs to find solutions for different specific parameters, and what works best for one company is not always going to be the best solution for another. Let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages of each of the major players in the DC Metro Region, so that you’ll be able to weigh the pros and cons to determine your best solution.

DSL vs. Cable vs. Fiber Internet for Business

The infrastructure that powers your Internet service may well be limited by what is available in your specific neighborhood or locale, but as a general rule, you can choose between DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), Cable, and Fiber Internet (Fiber-to-the-Premises/FTTP).

Different service providers specialize in different infrastructure technologies, and each solution has its advantages and disadvantages. DSL uses copper telephone lines for data; cable does the same with cable television lines, and fiber leverages super-fast dedicated fiber optics for data transfer.

When choosing between these three types of Internet access, practical parameters like speed, bandwidth, distance and cost often tip the scales.

Read More: Fiber, Cable or DSL: Which Type of High-Speed Internet is Best for Your Business?

Nationwide vs. Local Internet Providers

Big names like Comcast and Verizon are known for the range of coverage and the vast infrastructure they provide. They know what they are doing, for the most part, and they will accommodate your subscription. The DC metro area is no exception.

On the other hand, huge, faceless companies like these are also known for providing frustrating customer service. They are large providers and have less time and resources to spend providing service to their customers. They also don't have the same level of transparency and accountability that a local provider has.

Because of their smaller scope, local providers are likely to have the ability to cater to your company’s needs more effectively than the big names can. You may prefer to work with one nationwide provider if you're operating across several states, in which case local providers may not be relevant for your other locations.

Deciding which is best is determined by your needs. Do you need a provider that can accommodate multiple locales, or do you prefer a provider that can provide more transperency, personal attention, and customer service?

Business Internet Provider Reviews (DC Metro)

In addition to Atlantech Online, some of the leading providers offering Internet service in Washington, DC include:


Birch offers IT services, including cloud setup and management, and a portfolio of communications solutions, to small and mid-sized companies. Birch is expanding nationwide, but along the way, they're doing their best to retain a personal touch and to ensure that everyone on board has high levels of expertise, with mixed results.

Zayo Group

Zayo Group focuses their attention on dark fiber, wavelengths, SONET, IP services, live video and a wide variety of bandwidth infrastructure services too. A point of pride is their connectivity on dense intercity and metro fiber. A solid option for niche services, Zayo doesn't offer many of the other connectivity solutions that businesses need, such as phone service

Global Capacity

With a focus on small, medium and enterprise businesses alike, Global Capacity manages a large suite of Internet service, including voice, data, cloud, networking and security. They don't offer the same personalized touch that many companies prefer, but Global Capacity is respected nonetheless, mainly because of their acquisition of Covad/Megapath.

Getting the Best Internet for Your Business

No matter the size of your company or the extent of your global – or local – reach, you're going to want to investigate the various Internet service providers available to you in the Washington area to determine what approach will serve your business with greatest efficiency and efficacy.

Get a feel for each provider by talking to them – explain your needs and assess both how they respond to you, and to what degree you like their responses. To get a sense of the whole picture, make sure to ask for rate quotes, clarify their billing practices, and drill down into their troubleshooting approach. Ideally, you will want to work with the experts who have already researched the available options and who are in an excellent position to advise you as you move forward with your choices.

We're always ready to answer your questions at Atlantech Online. Feel free to contact us at any time to discuss your business Internet connectivity needs.

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About the author:

Tom Collins (Twitter, LinkedIn) - is the Director of Enterprise Sales & Marketing for Atlantech Online. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the Internet Service Provider industry and is known for translating technology into positive results for business. A native of Washington, DC, a graduate from University of Maryland (degrees in Government & Politics and Secondary Education), Tom is also a five-time Ironman finisher.