Choosing the right connectivity solution for a business is a no-brainer, right? With ADSL prices tumbling, all users have to do is choose the provider that offers the lowest price – and who promises to adjust the fee as prices fall further – and that’s it. Right? Wrong. 

“South African businesses appear to be spoiled for choice when it comes to connectivity, but it’s the breadth of choice that actually makes selection of the correct connectivity solution far more complex than looking at a single factor – price,” says Andre Joubert, GM at MWEB Business.
The first thing to be aware of is that not all ADSL solutions are created equal – even if their advertised specifications appear to be the same. There is a reason why some solutions are cheap and others cost slightly more – and that comes down to performance.
Performance is a function of complex issues such as throttling, shaping and contention ratios – how many users are being squeezed along the same connection simultaneously.
“MWEB Business has addressed the price versus performance issue by offering our customers two types of business-strength ADSL services.
“Our uncapped, unshaped, unthrottled solution offers users consistent quality of service, while our uncapped ADSL Lite prioritises business data over other types of traffic, but still gives customers a business-class service without any usage restrictions associated with throttled products,” he explains.
The second issue to consider is whether ADSL is indeed the best or correct solution for a particular business.
What if there are no ADSL lines available in a particular area, or if the copper lines are degraded and prone to regular faults, or if copper thieves regularly target that area?
“In these circumstances, a business should look at alternatives such as fibre – if it is available – or a failover solution such as VSAT or 3G,” Joubert says.
“In areas where there is no copper, no fibre and no reliable 3G, the only alternative is broadband satellite.”
Then there are the issues of speed and security. While ADSL might be fast and Bonded ADSL even faster, Leased line connectivity remains the solution of choice for businesses that demand consistently high connectivity speeds at all times.
Fibre is also a viable option, but the challenge lies in the coverage and installation costs of the service. However, progress is being made in this regard. Fibre offers key benefits not possible with its copper counterparts.
Because glass fibre has no resale value, it is less likely than copper to be stolen. In addition, upgrading a fibre connection is considerably easier and cheaper as no additional infrastructure is required.
“It’s important for businesses to choose a connectivity provider who is able to fully assess their business requirements, and then match them against the available technology in their environment. That is the only way to ensure that the business obtains the best solution possible,” Joubert concludes.