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6 Reasons to Consider a Move to Fiber

Fiber has exploded in a big way over the past year. All the major telecom and cable companies have been making massive capital investments in an effort to replace their current network assets, which are becoming increasingly outdated and are costly to maintain.

Incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) have been taking a beating by local cable companies who offer inexpensive big-bandwidth cable solutions. With their older and more unreliable copper network assets, these carriers are often hard-pressed to deliver comparable connectivity speeds. As a result, they’ve decided to fight back with fiber, frequently waiving the large up-front construction fees that previously made the investment in fiber cost-prohibitive for many organizations.

ILECs have also established Network Peering Relationships that enable them to participate in the increasingly competitive marketplace across the country. In other words, rather than only one option for fiber in a customer’s neighborhood, there could be multiple providers able to offer the same services, thus making pricing more competitive. 

You may be wondering if all of this actually translates into a positive ROI investment for your customers. What are the actual benefits of fiber, and what kind of customers should be considering a move to fiber?

Here, we’ve compiled six reasons that you should discuss the switch to fiber from coax with your customer and what types of customers can benefit from this change, now.

1. Speed

Sandisk research indicates that slow internet connections cost employees one week per year in productivity. Fiber-vs-coax-TBIThink about that. While delays due to slow internet may seem negligible, over time, they add up. An organization shouldn’t notice Internet slow-downs during periods of high demand; similarly, Internet connections should never inhibit productivity.  

Fiber-optic Internet is exponentially faster than even the highest-speed coax connection, with options ranging from 5Mbps to 100 Gbps.

2. Reliability

The copper cabling of coax can result in weather stalling or damaging transmissions due to the copper cabling. In contrast, fiber Internet connectivity is much stronger than coax, offering negligible vulnerability to inclement weather. Additionally, unless the fibers are physically cut, fiber is resistant to human or electrical interference. Fiber Internet signals also do not degrade or disappear due to electromagnetic interference.

Unquestionably, unreliable Internet connections can have significant cost implications for a business. Dependence on reliable Internet to perform essential business functions, such as phone calls and critical applications. Unplanned downtime can bring an organization to a standstill, thus impacting productivity and potentially the bottom line.

3. Bandwidth

“Hitting the cap” on the monthly bandwidth allotment with cable Internet can be pretty easy, especially for businesses that have a high need for data transmissions. Fiber-optic Internet, on the other hand, while not truly unlimited, has substantially higher bandwidth than cable, reducing the likelihood of low bandwidth availability. 

Some questions to ask your customers, to help determine if they’re suffering from low bandwidth include:

  • File sharing
  • Web conferencing
  • Streaming HD video
  • Accessing cloud applications
  • SIP trunking

Look out for the warning sings of low bandwidth availability: delays, slow speeds and pixelated video quality. If a company’s current Internet connection just isn’t cutting the mustard, they could benefit significantly from an upgrade to a fiber-optic Internet connection.

4. Latency

Latency are the delays that occur while processing data over an Internet connection. Numerous delays can be experienced on cable Internet, particularly when uploading or downloading video or high-definition content. Although it’s unlikely that employees are streaming Game of Thrones in their cubicles, businesses are impacted by latency in numerous ways.

Decreasing latency can benefit your customers by:

  • Improved collaboration between employees
  • Upload and download large files without disruption or delays
  • Move more applications to the cloud
  • Improved voice quality for VoIP users

5. Security

The average cost to a business from an information security breach is $3.8 million, and companies who have protected information leaked can face stiff financial penalties and customer defection.

Unfortunately, it’s fairly easy for hackers and other nefarious cyber-criminals to gain access to sensitive information with cable Internet as a result of cable tapping or other fairly simple techniques. On the other hand, the only way to infiltrate a fiber-optic Internet is to physically cut the wires, causing the signal to vanish; therefore, a fiber Internet connection is one of the single most powerful ways to increase a company’s protection against cyber-crime.

Although the media might focus on breaches of high-profile enterprise corporations, companies of all sizes are vulnerable to attack. Numerous SMB’s lack the money and resources to invest heavily in security, and many also have an “it can’t happen to me” type of mentality. The truth is quite the opposite, though. In reality, the likelihood of an SMB experiencing a cyber-attack or data breach is over 50% (Penemon Institute, 2017).

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While upgrading to fiber Internet connectivity won’t prevent all customer risks, it can certainly be an initial step to protect them. Like a suit of armor, the knight may still get struck with his opponent’s sword, but he’s far less likely to be hit in a vital organ.

6. Cost-Efficiency

As previously mentioned, ILEC’s are taking strides to make the transition to fiber more affordable with Network Peering Relationships as well as a willingness to, in some cases, absorb the initial construction costs, which could save thousands of dollars in up-front capital expenditure.

Fast Internet is increasingly being thought of as a critical productivity tool for business, despite it being more costly than coax. Consider the implications of a slow Internet connection across an organization. The number of employees affected by the slow-down multiplied by an average of a week’s worth of lost wages of a year—a simple cost analysis can show you that a business can actually save money by making the investment in fiber. 

Keep in mind, too, the ever-increasing amount of data and applications being moved to the cloud. Businesses can increase flexibility and scalability by implementing fiber Internet to better serve their cloud initiatives, saving time and money.

Understanding what pain points fiber Internet can address for your customer base as well as the numerous benefits that can be had is key to knowing which of your customers (or prospects) are ready to make a move to fiber. It’s never a bad idea to be on the look-out for ways to improve your customers’ productivity and business while also expanding your own.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Marketing Communications Manager, Amanda is responsible for creating content and carrying out internal and external communications programs; she also develops educational materials to enable TBI’s partners to sell emerging solutions. Amanda also contributes to ensuring consistency with branding and ensuring TBI provides useful and relevant content to our partners. You can reach Amanda at ajohnson@tbicom.com or connect with her on LinkedIn.