Beyond ADSL: The NBN and other options

ADSL technology based Internet Connections have served business well for in excess of 10 years, however the gradual push towards cloud computing and greater general Internet use means ADSL is no longer performing adequately for many MyTech clients. The NBN looms large on the horizon, but what are the real options, today?

ADSL technology is limited in speed as it was designed primarily for home users surfing the web. This means there is a bias towards information coming into your computer, but data going out is much slower. ADSL averages at 6-10Mb/s download and a maximum of 1Mb/s upload speed.

ADSL is simply no longer adequate for many businesses, especially if services have been moved to the cloud e.g. Office 365 email, Dropbox & OneDrive file sharing, Cloud Backup, MYOB or Xero accounting online, Staff working from home, phones and laptops syncing email etc., as these technologies all rely heavily on the upload speed being as fast as possible.

Also, the inherent speed you get on ADSL is based on your distance to the local telephone exchange – if you move to the wrong location, your ADSL can be very poor and there is absolutely nothing that can fix it short of moving. Other technologies don’t suffer this unique limitation.

NBN

The NBN is coming, but for most of Adelaide the NBN is still at least 2-3 years away. Whilst the NBN offers speeds of up to 25 to 100Mb/s download and 5 to 40MB/s upload (More than enough capacity for the foreseeable future), until the NBN comes to your area, the NBN simply isn’t an option.

Fibre & SHDSL

Traditional alternative technologies e.g. Telstra Fibre or “Midband” SHDSL, VDSL and Ethernet over Copper are priced at a premium – $600 to $2000+ per month plus a hefty setup fee. This makes them untenable options for most small businesses where the IT budget simply has no capacity for this sort of ongoing monthly expense.

Mobile 3G / 4G

Although mobile 3G / 4G is quite fast (30Mb/s or more both upload and download), Mobile 3G / 4G isn’t really a viable solution for three reasons:

  1. Limited data – most data plans allow for 4-12Gb of data use per month. A typical small business would use this much data in less than a week.
  2. No static IP Address. This makes it impossible to use with a server.
  3. Not a business grade service – no guarantees as to performance or reliability.

3G /4G devices are great for working remotely e.g. highly mobile sales staff, work from home or on a business trip, and in emergency situations where your regular ADSL service has failed, but are not suitable to run your business from on a permanent basis.

Fixed Wireless

This is the new player in town. Instead of relying on cables in the street, fixed wireless technology sees a small dish mounted on the roof, which points to a tower located at a high point (e.g. Mt. Osmond).

Speeds are much better than ADSL e.g. a typical plan offers 30Mb/s download and 5Mb/s upload guaranteed regardless of location. Prices are similar to ADSL e.g. less than $100 per month; by removing the need for reliance on Telstra’s wires-in-the street infrastructure, costs come down whilst reliability and service are vastly improved – and all support is locally based here in Adelaide.

Many of our clients have opted to switch to fixed wireless in order to overcome the speed and service quality limitations of ADSL, yet remaining within a reasonable monthly budget.

Ask us how you can move beyond ADSL, we will be happy to discuss your needs and arrange a seamless transition.