1. Perform a data audit
Before choosing a broadband service, look at how your business uses the data it is creating, storing and analysing. This will give you a benchmark to use that will ensure the broadband service has the capacity to handle these data loads. Is your LAN or WAN set up to handle high speed broadband?
2. Connect to the backbone
Your internet service provider (ISP) can be connected to the internet in one of three ways. These are referred to as tiers 1, 2 and 3. Look for a host that has a tier 1 connection, since this means they have their own portion of the internet that they control. These are the most expensive, but the most reliable.
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3. Look for better bandwidth
The speed and efficiency of your website depends on how much data your server can send and receive. This is the bandwidth. Look for a hosting service that has bandwidth utilisation of below 50% to avoid bottlenecks.
4. Study service level agreements (SLAs)
Any hosting service worth their salt should offer you one of these. Look closely at every clause so you don't get any nasty surprises. Most items should be open for negotiation.
5. Seek cloud optimisation
As small businesses increasingly use cloud-based services, look for a broadband supplier that is set up to manage a hybrid cloud storage approach to data management, so your small business can use on-site servers and cloud services together.
6. Embrace data services
As more businesses embrace the cloud and the flexibility that this offers for teleconferencing, VPNs (Virtual Private Network), VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and support so you can bring your own device (BYOD), choosing the right broadband service is more important than ever.
Phillips adds: "Don't think in the short term. Technology is changing so rapidly and now enables businesses to do all sorts of things that were unimaginable even five years ago - the internet is at the heart of that change. There is a wide range of options, but as with all things you need to buy the best you can afford, as you'll soon grow into the capacity, whether or not you think you currently need it."