5 things you should always ask your internet provider

Posted on April 25, 2018

5 Things You Should Ask Your Internet Provider

While having the internet is a business necessity, it’s the quality of the connection that matters most. After all, without a fast and reliable connection, the internet is just a cumbersome, and even costly, tool.

By simply asking the right questions upfront, your business can ensure the internet is the advantage it should be. Here are five questions your IT team should always ask your network provider:

1. Can our business get an internet connection that suits us?

Yes. The performance of your applications and services depend on the speed and quality of your connection. For example, if your business is remotely storing large files or a high volume of images, video and sound, your bandwidth can max out faster than anticipated.

This is where you need a higher performing connection with the flexibility to handle varying workloads. But not all connections are equal. Your business can only thrive with a network that meets the demands of your workload and a connection that lives up to the very best service standards.

Look for a provider with a ‘smart’ network that can automatically prioritise data traffic by class.

2. So, do we really need to think about SLAs?

You should because Service Level Agreements give your business peace of mind. Think of them as indicators of quality. For Vocus, this means that we back our services to assure you that your network connection will always be in place, but on the rare occasion where it might not be, you know that financial penalties are in place to motivate action!

It’s worth noting that some providers don’t offer SLAs, which is risky in today’s big data environment. It’s just smart business to ask about SLAs and its something Vocus is particularly focused on.

3. What is latency and is it important?

For some companies, the processing capabilities from their various platforms and applications can outpace the available throughput of their network. It’s a mismatch that causes great inefficiency. This is why it’s crucial that you ask about latency to make sure your business can run as effectively as possible.

One way to address the issue is data traffic classification to prioritise high-value data types so they jump the queue and don’t get caught up with less important data. This is where MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) networks come into their own. Be sure to ask about MPLS before dropping large amounts of cash on expensive network hardware, which promise a lot, but don’t always deliver to the hype.

4. Are you Supported?

Are you getting the support that businesses need? We’re not talking about hugs and smiles (but we can organise these if you wish). We’re talking 24/7, Australian-based support that is business focused and knows about the product you use.

Too many businesses don’t think about the support they need, until something breaks, and then it’s important, but too late. Ask in advance — where is support based? What’s the escalation framework? How can support be accessed?

5. How Connected is your Provider?

Interconnection is the physical linking of a carrier's network with equipment or facilities outside of that network — and often overseas. Essentially, the more networks and content providers that your internet provider directly connects with, the better the performance you can expect as the routing between the source network and your business is optimised.

If you want the best performance, a carrier’s interconnection is critical. For example, the Vocus network is one of Australia’s best connected networks with a very high interconnectivity (or peering) classification amongst global networks and content providers.  It’s important for us, as the better we are connected, the better you are.

So, not all internet is the same. Don’t burden your business with internet that holds you back. Ask the right questions and get the service you need, from a specialist business provider that owns and runs it’s network. Let’s talk.

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