Small Business Internet Basics 101

What You Need to Know:

A successful small or medium business (SMB) may start with a great idea, but it is built on hard work and reliable infrastructure. Internet connectivity is an essential building block for the foundation of virtually every SMB.

There are so many service offers in the marketplace, it can be difficult to know which one is right for your SMB without a basic understanding of some of the more technical aspects of Internet access. For SMB owners who, very often act as their own IT department, terminology such as download and upload speeds; dedicated access and broadband may as well be a foreign language.

If you are an SMB owner trying to navigate the confusing and crowded Internet Service Provider marketplace, consider this your crash course in Business Internet Basics 101.

The Lowdown on Download and Upload Speeds

Every Internet Service Provider makes various claims about their network's speeds, but what do those numbers really mean? And how much speed does your business really need?

Typically, internet connections have two speeds – downloading and uploading. Downloading refers to receiving files, like documents and media such as video, images and music. In contrast, uploading is sending files. These speeds are measured in "bits per second" (bps). Downloading and uploading usually involves thousands (kilobits) or millions (megabits) per second.

For example, if an Internet Service Provider advertises that it offers "speeds up to 40 mbps / 5 mbps," it means that its top download speed is 40 mbps and top upload speed is 5 mbps. Internet speeds at that level should be able to accommodate heavy downloading across multiple devices.

That said, there are a number of factors that can impact your internet connection's actual speeds including your computer, the distance from your service provider as well as the type of connections available in your area. (Older internet connections tend to perform much more slowly in comparison to newer, fiber optic technologies.)

Another major factor in your actual network speeds is the number of people utilizing your connection and the type of activities they are performing. Ten employees engaged in heavy streaming and downloading will demand more of your network than a handful of employees mostly sending emails.

Dedicated Internet Access Versus Broadband

Something to consider when deciding on a business Internet network is whether your SMB would be best served by Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) or Broadband. Both services will get you connected to the Internet, but both offer specific differences.

DIA is just that – a dedicated internet network for your SMB. Use of a DIA over a fiber optic network has several benefits, including a much greater bandwidth (aka the maximum amount of data that can be transmitted via an Internet Service Provider over a period of time). DIA's fiber optic network also allows for symmetrical download and upload speeds. Meaning, that if the network delivers the same speed downloading as it does on the upload. If you order 50 mbps on the download, you are also receiving 50 mps on the upload.

Another benefit of a DIA connection is a much stronger Service Level Agreement (SLA) than is typically offered for a Broadband service. This means that your Internet Service Provider will face stronger penalties for outages and other errors spelled out in your service agreement.

In contrast, a Broadband network is typically deployed via cable modem or DSL (Direct Subscriber Line). Unlike DIA, Broadband does not offer symmetrical download and upload speeds; your download speed will generally be significantly faster than your upload speeds. Additionally, a Broadband's service agreement will typically make "Best Efforts" to ensure consistent connectivity and Internet uptimes, as opposed to the much stronger language in a DIA service agreement.

Obviously, there are clear benefits to incorporating a DIA into your organization's business internet, however, the increased cost of direct access as well as the rapid technological improvements along the broadband network are factors that SMBs cannot ignore in their search for best-fit Internet network resources. For most SMBs, a strong broadband network can provide more than adequate Internet connectivity as compared to a costly DIA enterprise solution.

Is Your SMB with Buckeye Broadband Business Class?

Navigating the Internet Service Provider marketplace can be confusing for small business owners, but Buckeye Broadband Business Class can deliver a networking solution that is easy to understand and tailor-made for your organization's unique needs. With several available packages, you can feel comfortable that you are receiving the best possible speeds for your SMB's unique network usage. And because it's Buckeye Broadband Business Class, you can rest assured knowing that you are partnering with a service provider that is well-known throughout the Northwest Ohio / Southeast Michigan region for delivering best-in-class Broadband service. Plus, 24/7 technical support keeps you connected to expert help exactly when you need it most.


Finding the right Broadband network for your Small or Medium Business doesn't have to be hard. Let the knowledgeable experts at Buckeye help you find a Broadband Business Class solution that perfectly suits your organization's unique needs. Contact us today for more information.

NW Ohio/SE Michigan 1.419.724.7980 Erie County 1.419.627.0800