Gigabit internet (“gig-speed”) connections move data at speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps)—or 1 gigabit. That’s 10 times the speed of 100 Mbps connections. And that order of magnitude improvement opens up a world of possibilities for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).
“SMBs can now get the same internet speeds that the largest companies enjoy for less than half of what they paid for much slower internet 10 years ago,” says Stephen Andriole, professor of business technology at Villanova School of Business. “Much more importantly, having such fast internet allows small businesses to access products and services that were previously inaccessible to them.”
Perhaps the starkest example of what gig-speed means is the effect it has on downloading large files. At 100 Mbps, it takes about six minutes to download a 4-gigabyte (GB) design presentation, Andriole says. At gig-speed, it would take only 40 seconds to download.
But faster downloading is just part of the promise of gig-speed. Businesses with 1,000 Mbps service will find they can deploy state-of-the-art apps and services that work poorly or not at all with slower internet. Moreover, as more devices get hooked up to the internet, it’s essential to have internet service that can support all of those devices without causing slowness and hindering business productivity.
The benefits of gig-speed internet
Another key benefit of gig-speed internet is that it improves access to cloud-based applications and services, Andriole says.
For instance, it makes it much more feasible for SMBs to continuously back up data to secure off-site cloud storage. SMBs can also much more easily use video conferencing, a valuable communication tool that was previously mostly restricted to large businesses with costly high-speed networks. Generally, businesses will find that cloud-based accounting, e-commerce, marketing and other applications will work faster and more reliably when connecting with gig-speed internet.
“Enabling the Internet of Things [IoT] is another huge benefit,” adds Jerod Powell, founder of InfinIT Consulting in San Jose, California. Increasingly, businesses are connecting security systems, thermostats, cars, electronic appliances, lights and other devices to the internet. The increase in business internet use can slow conventional 100 mbps performance to a crawl. But gig-speed can handle much greater numbers of IoT connections.
How to get 1 gigabit internet
Taking advantage of gig-speed may require businesses to acquire faster routers and other on-premises network equipment. (Spectrum Business Internet Gig customers receive the routers and other equipment needed to support it.)
“While this could cost some upgrade dollars, the returns on these investments will be high,” Andriole says. And many SMBs may already be gig-ready without additional investments, he adds.
That said, not every business today needs gig-speed internet. Those that don’t need to connect a large array or number of devices to the network beyond laptops or a point-of-sale system, or that aren’t regularly downloading, say, large video files, will probably find an internet connection with at least 200 Mbps will provide the bandwidth they need.
However, in the future, gigabit internet is likely to become commonplace among businesses of all sizes—and will become a major competitive necessity. While less time spent downloading large files may be the most obvious business benefit compared to current technology, that’s just the beginning.
Adds Andriole: “Gig-speed is a passport to all kinds of business opportunities.”
Spectrum Business Internet Gig is available in many areas and can provide businesses with our fastest download speeds—at one competitive low price. Find out about availability in your area and learn more by calling 855-299-9353.
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