As demand for fast, reliable connectivity grows, any business that wants to stay connected - regardless of size - should be looking at what Ethernet has to offer. A common misconception is that Ethernet is just for large organisations. In reality it is ideal for smaller companies including online retailers, design agencies and legal practices who may have a small number of employees but a high level of data consumption. But what is this technology, what options are available, and what benefits can SMEs expect to see as a result.
A connection just for you
The key feature of Ethernet that sets it apart from options like broadband and fibre is that it's a connection that's reserved solely for your use. This means you won't have to compete for bandwidth with other users sharing the same connection, which can lead to slowdowns in performance at peak times. The fact of the matter is that standard broadband and Fibre are dependent on how many people in your area are online. So your neighbours’ usage can affect your speeds. With Ethernet your connectivity line is yours alone.
Therefore, you can expect a fast, reliable level of service regardless of the time of day or what you hope to achieve, and you won't have to worry about critical business processes being slowed down by someone down the street binge-watching Netflix.
Ethernet also lets you take advantage of great business-grade features such as Voice over Ethernet, which allows you to handle huge numbers of calls simultaneously with no degradation of quality, giving small and medium firms the capability to match their larger competitors.
What can you expect to pay for a dedicated Ethernet line? Less than you might think! Entry level Ethernet costs less per day than paying one staff member at national minimum wage for a single hour*.
Of course, Ethernet may not be suitable for all scenarios. If you're a single-site business with a very limited budget, you'll have to weigh up carefully whether the guaranteed speed and reliability on offer is worth the additional cost compared with fibre. But it you're a growing firm looking to expand, it's an option that should be seriously considered.
Which options are available?
There are several different alternatives for organisations looking to adopt a Ethernet connectivity solution, and regardless of which you opt for, you should enjoy a strong, dedicated level of service, with 24/7 support on offer and great coverage wherever you are in the country.
For an entry-level Ethernet service, our Ethernet over Fibre (EoFTTC) uses a copper cable to connect your business to the nearest street cabinet, before a shared fibre-optic circuit connects you the rest of the way to the exchange. This delivers an Ethernet-quality service of up to 76Mbps download and 20Mbps upload without the expense of other options.
Alternatively, if you need consistent, similar upload and download speeds, Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) uses multiple copper cables to connect you to the cabinet, meaning you benefit from higher bandwidth and more resilience - so if one cable fails, you'll still be able to continue operating on the remaining wires.
Finally, a true ultrafast experience is available with Ethernet Access Direct (EAD). This is the high-end option, using end-to-end fibre and dedicated bandwidth that make it ideal for businesses that cannot afford any drop in connectivity. For this, you can expect a high degree of flexibility and scalability that can grow alongside your firm, with business-grade service level agreements and speeds of up to 1Gbps.
Whether you opt for EoFTTC, EFM or EAD, Ethernet connectivity offers your business a guaranteed level of service and reliability that broadband and fibre cannot match. For small and medium size businesses looking to grow, the technology could be the key that helps them make it to the next level.
Find out more about TalkTalk Business' range of Ethernet products and services.
*Based on the cost of EOFTTC at £100 per month which is equal to £3.28 a day. The National Minimum Wage is £7.50. Prices correct as of 02/03/17.