Business runs on bandwidth. But it also runs on money, and you need
to be sure you’re spending efficiently.
So how much internet does your business need? Is more always better?
It depends on what you do.
But if you’re looking for a fast answer to the question, “How
much internet does my business need?” you can start with this formula:
Your business needs a 1.5 Mbsp connection for each employee.
However, this equation is oversimplified for many companies. If you
want to be thorough and make the best decision regarding bandwidth,
consider the follow:
How many computers do you have?
Many businesses will have a computer for every employee. Count all
the workstations, even the ones that only see occasional use. Take
into account future hires and don’t forget to tally remote workers.
What does each person do?
There are some business functions that have only a small impact on
bandwidth consumption, such as:
- Social media
- Web browsing
- Office 365 and Salesforce
However, some heavy-bandwidth using tasks and applications will bump
your bandwidth usage-per-person average up, including:
- Data backup
- VoIP video calls phones
- Large file downloads
- Multiple network devices
- Cloud-heavy applications
- Video conferencing
As such, a good first step is to map your employees or org chart by
how often they engage in one of the tasks listed above.
Adding It Up
Once you’ve inventoried everything, you can do a thorough consumption
analysis to arrive at your ideal bandwidth.
Here’s a sample worksheet to get you started. To use the sheet,
simply multiply the number of people working by the bandwidth they’ll
be consuming. You can also contact us and
we’ll do this for you.
This chart will assume all of these happen concurrently, so it’ll
give you a high-end estimate of what you’ll need:
Consumption tells one part of the bandwidth story, but there are also
factors you’ll need to consider, including:
Internet type—Cable? DSL? Fiber? Not all Internet is
created equal. Cable, for instance, can slow down significantly
when many people are using it. Fiber optic, on the other hand, doesn’t
have this problem.
Line congestion--When are your biggest bottlenecks? Consider
not only the tasks, but the time at which that work is carried out
simultaneously. For example, if your business is more productive from
9-10:00am, then the network may be slower if during critical times if
there is insufficient bandwidth.
The Cloud—Are you planning on virtualizing? Many businesses are
migrating their applications and infrastructure to the cloud, and are
hitting bandwidth roadblocks. If your strategic plan is cloud-focused,
you need extra bandwidth.
Stealth IT—What bandwidth-consuming gadgets are your employees
sneaking in? The explosive growth of consumer IoT devices
(means that employees often bring their own devices to work without
your knowing, such as smartwatches, additional phones, and other
random devices (smart water
bottles? Seriously?). Account for this in your bigger picture.
A little extra bandwidth is often a good investment. But if you’re
business non-intensive on internet throughout, a 1.5 Mbps connection
is a sensible place to start.
Fiber internet is the envy of most IT and networking pros, since it
can handle higher bandwidths and is less prone to congestion. The
drawback is that fiber isn’t available in every area. However, if you
do have access, you should strongly consider a provider that can
connect you to next-generation internet.
Find out if you
have access to fiber Internet—contact us today.