In today’s digital world, a strong internet connection is the lifeblood of most businesses.

With modern technology and digital ways of working available (and constantly evolving), it brings into sharp focus the question – is your internet bandwidth up to the job? Whether you have a cafe that offers free wifi for customers or have a large company where everyone is online at once, it is critical that you have enough bandwidth so that everyone can do what they need to do online – all at the same time.

First of all, what is bandwidth?

Well, measured in millions or billions of bits per second (Mbps/Gbps), bandwidth can be used as a representation of your internet speed. More accurately, it’s a measurement of how much data per second your Internet connection can send and receive — e.g., how much data is allowed to move from point A to point B at any given time. Simply put, a higher bandwidth means a higher volume of data can flow through at a faster rate.

Share and share alike

Another way to think of bandwidth is to compare it to the water pressure in your home. Turn on your shower, and all the pressure will come through at once, but for every extra tap that’s turned on at the same time, your pressure will drop for each as the available water volume is portioned out.

If you look at every device on your network as if it’s an added ‘tap’, you can quickly see how congestion and low speeds could easily become a problem. Therefore, if one employee is uploading a large file to the cloud while another is on a video call, you need to have enough bandwidth to support them both. If you don’t, potentially both of your staff may not be able to do their job effectively and efficiently.

Plan ahead

Even if your bandwidth suits your business needs right now, is it enough to support your business as it evolves and grows?”

Looking back, it’s easy to see how different digital trends and new devices have influenced the way we do business and have eventually become customary practice. The drive towards cloud- computing is one such example. It’s probably transformed the way you store data, manage customers, collaborate, and manage projects online. It may have also dramatically increased your bandwidth requirements.

With digital development and innovations showing no sign of slowing down, it’s crucial that you plan to have the infrastructure to support it, and this means, you guessed it, having enough bandwidth.

How much is enough?

How do you ensure you have adequate bandwidth to support your growth?

Bandwidth requirements are constantly evolving and employees have come to expect the same fast connectivity in the office as they enjoy at home. Nothing is more frustrating than waiting for things to load or having to constrain your usage.

Make sure you have enough for everyone sharing the connection to have a great experience, and add a little extra so you don’t have to revisit this every time you hire someone new or a new app comes along.

Once you have a handle on your current needs, start to consider your future use and consider your goals for growth. This would include an increase in customers and staff and new online tools you would like to integrate into your business. Obviously there will be a lot of unknowns, but this exercise will show the importance of finding a flexible service provider, or plan, that allows you to easily scale your bandwidth as needed. A good example of increased data consumption is that the average New Zealand home and business used 515 gigabytes (GB) of broadband data in October 2021 compared to 329 GB in 2019. That’s an increase of 57 percent!

What’s the right fibre for my business?

Depending on your data needs an upgrade to a product like Hyperfibre might be the right fit for your business. If you and your staff are chomping through data, then moving to Hyperfibre could take your online efficiency to the next level. When it comes to fibre plans, you do have some decisions to make.

  • Residential fibre

Business owners have needs that are not always met by residential internet service plans. Additionally, residential plans do not have the customer included to meet the unique needs of things like offices, retail outlets and hospitality providers if something goes wrong. Business fibre has enhanced performance versus residential fibre with capacity so multiple people can upload and download large files, video conference, and use other business critical apps with no lagging, no matter what time of the day.

  • Business fibre

The pinnacle of internet delivery methods, fibre-optic cables offer the fastest speeds available in New Zealand. Vast amounts of data can be transmitted in the form of light waves, at speeds close to that of the speed of light. Better still, your signal does not degrade over distances, location, if you are connected to fibre.

  • Hyperfibre

When used for a business, Hyperfibre’s incredibly low-latency makes it perfect when using high performance software applications that depend on real-time communication and high-resolution images. Hyperfibre also offers the potential to enable a new era of digital creativity and innovation in business, leading to the development of new products and services and improved levels of productivity.

Technical support and restoration

Another thing to consider when reviewing your plan is the level of customer support it offers. How much help are you likely to need? How much is available? Can you access a dedicated business support team, and are they available 24/7?

Don’t skimp on asking these questions when speaking with your RSP (retail service provider) because inevitably, internet downtime costs you money. Do whatever you can to soften the blow if, and when, it arises. Make sure you investigate downtime contingencies like emergency mobile data or prioritisation of your needs.

A good place to start is to ensure you’re on a connection that was specifically designed for business use. Chorus has specialised connections on its fibre network that offer all the speed and reliability benefits of a standard residential fibre connection but tailored for business needs, with additional levels of performance and service.

This includes a business restore feature so in the unlikely event of a network issue (line damage or similar) your broadband connection will be prioritised to get you back online sooner. To find which of the wholesale broadband connections best suits your needs check out our recommendation tool.


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