5 business benefits of fibre connectivity
Fibre is finally being rolled out across the UK, and for many people it can’t come soon enough. The improvement over traditional copper cables is almost immeasurable, with download and upload speeds ten times higher in some cases. This is not to mention the improvements in reliability over distances, reducing the degradation of internet speeds the further you are from the exchange.
For businesses, however, a three or four-year wait may be three or four years too long. The business benefits of fibre optic broadband are such that missing out means putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage. Here are five of the biggest benefits of fibre connectivity, from the increasing usefulness of faster downloads, to the surprising benefits for remote working.
The one benefit of fibre optic broadband that everyone knows is that it’s faster. In layman’s terms, copper cables can only carry so many signals at once, are prone to electrical interference, and see reduced speeds over long distances. Fibre optic cables by contrast use infrared light to transmit data, which makes them immune to electromagnetic interference. Light also travels faster, and can carry more data simultaneously, resulting in higher speeds and bandwidth (more on that below).
Statistics show that organisations with a slow internet connection lose around one week per year in employee productivity. Long loading times can seem like a small issue, but this adds up to a significant time loss over a one-year period. This is particularly true of businesses who routinely upload large files such as videos or images, as upload speeds are magnitudes worse on a copper line than they are on a fibre optic one. This can lead to hours-long uploads that simultaneously reduce speeds for everyone else in the workplace.
If your organisation has a high demand for data, it’s very easy to hit the threshold of your broadband’s bandwidth. While fibre optic options aren’t always unlimited, the available bandwidth is much higher. With SotaConnect, for example, deploying our core network allows us to offer bandwidth of 10Gb/s and beyond, equating to roughly 30 mins of 4K video in a single second. This allows multiple people on the same line to perform data hungry tasks without slowing things down for everyone else.
For businesses with a high need for data transmission, it’s relatively easy to “hit the cap” on your cable internet bandwidth. While fibre-optic internet for business is not truly unlimited, the bandwidth availability is significantly higher, and download and upload speeds do not decrease as bandwidth demands increase. What’s more, download and upload speeds are much more equivalent, meaning that uploading a video won’t throttle your speeds for minutes or hours at a time.
You wouldn’t think that the kind of cable you use for your internet connection would affect its security. Yet uncommon as it is, copper is susceptible to attackers. Copper lines can be ‘tapped’ anywhere along their route in order to intercept the signal, exactly as someone might tap a phone line to listen in on calls. This presents a potential threat to any business transmitting sensitive information, particularly without end-to-end encryption.
Upgrading to fibre optic connectivity won’t mitigate all of your security risks, and you still need to protect against hackers and other cyber criminals, who’ll try to attack your systems or convince you to download dodgy files. But thanks to using infrared light rather than an easily diverted signal, fibre is near impossible to tap. This makes it immediately more secure than copper, providing another neat benefit for security-conscious businesses.
4. Cost savings
Installing fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) naturally incurs an upfront cost, as well as the ongoing price of fibre broadband. However, it can also bring with it cost savings, as well as new opportunities. Faster speeds and greater bandwidth both mean less time wasted waiting for things to upload or download. They also allow your business to harness technologies such as cloud computing, managed VoIP, and video conferencing, without worrying about interruptions.
Internet connectivity is vital to most businesses, and bandwidth requirements continue to increase as video, audio and photos increase in definition and size. If you use the internet to communicate with customers, use software or post to social media, a fibre optic connection is likely to improve the quality and reliability of many business services, helping to gain new business and saving money through lost time.
We’ve already mentioned that fibre optic cables are less prone to interference than copper, which is already a point in the reliability column. This is particularly noticeable during poor weather, where fibre holds up even as copper connections stutter. But fibre optic cables are generally more resilient than copper – a famously soft material that can be fairly easily damaged, and may degrade over time.
One of the biggest reasons for variable internet speeds within the same locality is the condition of copper cables, with some old cables leading to far lower speeds and reliability. The much larger bandwidth of fibre connections also ensures that multiple users can use data heavy applications at the same time, without causing issues such as stuttering or artifacting videos. You also won’t struggle at peak times of heavy internet traffic, such as during sports tournaments, when matches might be streaming during working hours.
Fibre connectivity is a financial investment in the future of your business, improving productivity and providing long term cost savings. To learn more about the benefits of fibre optic connectivity for your business or to simply enquire, contact our team today.