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Sharing Business Broadband Costs
Even small businesses can have high performance dedicated Internet access by splitting the cost of a T1 line.

By: John Shepler

Most businesses today have a need for fast, reliable Internet access. For medium size businesses and large enterprises, this is usually accomplished with a commercial grade telecommunications connection such as dedicated T1 or T3 Internet service, or even optical carrier connections. But for very small businesses such as sales professionals, consultants or even small retail shops, the cost of a high reliability telecom data line leads them to settle for lower grade solutions such as Wireless, DSL or Cable Internet. But there is a way to get both high performance and low cost Internet service. It's called broadband sharing.

A Consumer Broadband No-No
On the consumer side, broadband sharing is frowned upon and often prohibited by the service providers. Get caught providing WiFi broadband for the neighborhood on your Cable Internet connection and they'll cancel your service. The reason for this is that you are not purchasing bandwidth, you are purchasing a service. The ISP may advertise download rates up to several Mbps, but these are estimates not promises. The fact is that the broadband ISP is dividing up their bandwidth among hundreds or thousands of customers. They oversubscribe or sell more bandwidth than they actually have in order to keep the cost low. The assumption is that only a portion of their customers will actually be online at any given time. If you are giving away the service to your neighbors, they not only lose a chance to sell broadband to those people but exacerbate the oversubscription problem as well.

What's Different About Professional Grade Lines
Professional telecommunication bandwidth isn't sold that way. When you lease a T1 dedicated Internet line you get 1.5 Mbps in both the upload and download directions for your exclusive use. Order a T3 line or DS3 service and you get 45 Mbps of exclusive bandwidth. Optical carriers will give you bandwidths into the Gbps range if you need that much. The other difference is that these regulated telecommunications services come with SLAs or Service Level Agreements to ensure that your line is available when you need it, and fast repairs if there ever is an outage.

You can order a T1 dedicated Internet service for your business and use it entirely for your own enterprise. But a T1 line can actually support up to 25 users who are accessing the Web or using email. What some smaller businesses do is pool their resources and share the bandwidth of a single T1 line. This is easy to do when each business has a suite in the same building. The principal or building owner will have a VAR (Value Added Reseller) create a building network with Ethernet jacks in each suite. Wireless access points may also be installed for laptop computer and PDA access. A T1 line configured for dedicated Internet access and its associated T1 router will feed the network. If even 10 or 12 offices participate, the monthly cost per office can be comparable to consumer grade broadband offerings and perhaps even less.

There's no need to worry about running out of bandwidth. If participation gets so great that a T1 line slows down, you can bond in additional T1 lines to double, triple or otherwise increase bandwidth in 1.5 Mbps increments.

How Business Owners Share Bandwidth and Costs
This is such an attractive option that some building owners will install T1 dedicated Internet service and include access in the monthly rent for businesses, condos or apartments. Virtual office complexes rent small office spaces or shared space to consultants and sales people who only occasionally need a desk or conference room. Shared broadband is a perfect value added solution.

Industrial parks go even further by setting up fiber optic networks to interconnect the various facilities into a high speed data network. Dedicated internet access can be provided by DS3 at 45 Mbps, OC3 at 155 Mbps, OC12 at 622 Mbps or OC48 at 2.5 Gbps. Carrier Ethernet or GigE can also be provisioned.

Discover Your Bandwidth Upgrade Options Now
You are likely paying too much money and getting too little bandwidth on your old T1 line contract. Get a competitive quote for upgrade service now, including high bandwidth solutions such as SD-WAN and Managed SDN Software Defined Networking, DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Broadband, Carrier Ethernet and MPLS network services from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps, with 100 Gbps available in some areas. Find out in seconds what network services and pricing are available now for your commercial business building anywhere in the U.S. Simply use this handy form...


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