Five Great Questions To Ask Your ISP

You’re not sure you’re getting the best deal from your internet service provider – but you’re wary of having a conversation full of tech gobbledygook. So we have written down below five crucial questions to ask your ISP.

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1. “Up To” Or “Average”? What’s The Actual Download Speed?

Currently when ISPs advertise broadband speed, they often talk about it being “up to” 80Mbps. This headline speed shows the highest speed of data transfer possible through that connection – it’s not necessarily the speed you will see on a day-to-day basis.

To get a more realistic view of the kind of speed you can anticipate, you need to find out from your ISP the average speed in your area.

Actual speed depends on a wide range of issues such as distance from the local exchange, through to the number of people using a network. Ofcom has made moves to clarify the advertisement of broadband speeds through the 2010 voluntary code of practice. As more ISPs volunteer to take on this practice, it will mean greater clarity for businesses looking to buy broadband. However, Ofcom is only encouraging, it’s not enforcing ISPs who have not yet signed the code to do so or to adobt the same or similar measures.

2. Is Unlimited Really Unlimited?

When buying your business broadband, it’s essential to have a clear idea of what your usage will look like. Will you be running multiple web-based applications? Will you be streaming a lot of content? How quickly will you need to upload and download data to enable smooth business activity?

While a few ISPs tout unlimited usage, it’s important to find out what “unlimited” truly means. There are truly unlimited solutions available but in some cases, unlimited may mean there’s a fair usage policy in place, which restricts usage and can result in penalties.

Not only do you need to know about any limitations in place but also what the impact of exceeding these limits may be. Will there be extra charges? Could connection speeds be vastly reduced or perhaps even cut off entirely?

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3. Prioritise & Control: What controls are exerted on traffic?

Internet traffic use can be managed, prioritise and controlled to reduce “congestion”.

High demand activity such as video streaming or large file downloads can slow the connection. When reviewing use, you may want to consider prioritising traffic critical to your business, be it email or web-based applications.

4. How Quickly Can You Respond to Network Issues?

Ask your ISP what’s in place to identify and solve network issues. Key elements to look out for are more monitoring tools (to identify connection issues) and service level agreements (to ensure response time).

If things go wrong, you need to know that you’ll be back online as soon as possible and that the fault won’t reoccur within a matter of moments. Ask about first time fault resolution rates and monitoring to make sure problems are not only tracked but rapidly resolved.

5. How Can You Support My Business As It Grows?

Many businesses now are activating their very own cloud. This makes it easier for them to communicate with one another, anytime and anywhere. As your business grows, your requirements will change and you’ll need more processing, memory and storage. It also means more people in your business, more people you need to get in contact with if they or you are not in the office; say hello to VoIP and video conferencing thanks to the cloud and Office 365. Want to know more about what we can do for you in terms of Office 365?  The  contact use today and we can tell you what we can do to help your business