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Is DSL or Cable Right for Your Business?

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Is DSL or Cable Right for Your Business?

June 12, 2014

By Casey Houser, Contributing Writer

There comes a time in the life of every modern business when it must purchase broadband Internet access. In this age, there is no question about whether or not a business should get Internet; instead, there is only a question about what type. Does it choose cable or DSL?

The question is multi-faceted and not always easy to make. There are several factors any business must weigh before ultimately settling on a connection type, and those individuals in charge of this process, be they in a global enterprise or a street-corner small business, do not want to choose incorrectly.

A recent blog post at Small Business Trends outlines the various factors one must consider in this endeavor. First, subscribers should know that both DSL and cable Internet providers often have packages that include speeds that range from “residential” to “business” -- respectively, from the basic packages that offer the slowest connection speeds to the advanced packages with the highest speeds that can service multiple employees in large enterprises.

Traditionally, Small Business Trends notes, DSL is not as fast as cable, but a small business owner may be able to bundle a DSL package with an existing phone line through the same phone company. Connection speed with DSL does tend to slow down as a subscriber gets farther from a provider's central office, and a connection will be lost in the event of a lost phone service, perhaps caused by a natural disaster.

Cable may be faster than DSL, and speed is not limited by the distance from a provider's office. And like DSL, cable television providers can often bundle Internet access with an existing television package. Unfortunately, although cable has the potential to offer a faster connection, bandwidth is broken up by any other users attached to one's line. If a small business is on the same block as several other businesses, for example, it is possible that it will share bandwidth during its operating hours.

With all the pros and cons measured out, a business must first find out the available options. Some subscribers will have access to several DSL and cable providers in their immediate area; others may only have a single neighborhood provider. Out of the possible choices, a business should look for the most trustworthy provider in the group, and any experience with previous phone or cable subscriptions can help with that analysis. Additionally, if speed is a concern, a “business” package may eliminate the hazard of sharing bandwidth or running into problems with a slow connection, and business-class bundles can include special features such as a range of unblocked network ports and enhanced customer service.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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