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Choosing Between Fiber And Coax Internet?

As published in the South Florida Business Journal

Whether a business is established or new-to-market, internet speeds, access and reliability matter to companies of all sizes looking to streamline business operations in the increasingly digital world. When the time comes for a company to make decisions about their business internet, all of their choices including fiber and coax should be seriously considered. There are many variances in features, cost and time.

Coax vs. fiber: Breaking down the benefits

Coax is a type of electrical cable that is more readily available and widespread than fiber. Because of this, coax, which is a shared bandwidth technology, has abundant availability and is a good choice for more price-conscience businesses. The timeframe for coax installation is generally faster than fiber and can usually be fully installed within two weeks, making it a great choice for businesses that need to be up and running quickly.

The type of business also matters when determining internet services. For instance, if a company has five or fewer employees and activities and workflow are most closely related to downloading documents and files versus uploading, then coax might be a better fit.

If a business primarily uses internet for email, surfing and downloading from the web, or is looking to bundle services like phone, video, and Wi-Fi, coax also offers the most value. It is also more easily adaptable and offered through multiple unit packages.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of fiber

Fiber optic cable is designed to quickly transmit greater quantities of data over longer distances than conventional coax. Larger companies or those with more complex needs, such as connecting to and using cloud-based applications, are generally in the market for a fiber solution. Fiber is a necessity if a company’s CRM platform, email, servers and accounting systems are hosted off-site or on the cloud.

Fiber-based dedicated internet access, or DIA, offers businesses symmetrical service, meaning customers are guaranteed the same speeds for both download and upload. Unlike coaxial technology that shares one signal across all customers in a geographic area, including residential users, fiber-based services are dedicated to each customer, insuring that the subscribed bandwidth is fully available to the customer at all times.

Guaranteed speeds and the reliability of a dedicated service allow providers to offer service-level agreements, a feature typically not offered for coaxial services. Finally, fiber is easily scalable. Once the network is in place, technicians can quickly update speeds with a key stroke and businesses will see the results of this change in as little as 24 hours. This flexibility allows the service to adapt as a company grows or to seasonally scale its business operations and services.

So, now what?

There’s a lot to consider when running or operating a business and keeping employees, vendors and customers connected. When choosing between coax and fiber, this consideration goes beyond just the budget. While there isn’t a right or wrong choice, the decision comes down to the business’ specific needs and future growth plans.

Coax provides fantastic value and compelling internet speeds for businesses that do not have an enormous amount of bandwidth, while fiber offers a big benefit in terms of scalability and flexibility.