What type of connectivity do I need for a Hosted / Cloud-based solution?

As a growing number of businesses look at Hosted solutions including Voice and Telephony as a cost-effective, flexible and secure alternative to on-premise, one of the first dilemmas that needs to be answered is often; will our current data connection be sufficient?

I’m sure it’s a well known fact that hosted solutions including Voice & Telephony are accessed via an internet connection. I’m going to take you back 10 years now, right to the point where this technology was starting to emerge. Looking back, the main motivation for businesses to choose hosted was to do things as cheaply as possible. However, the cost of high quality Internet access was very high in those days and far less readily available than today. The range of options was very limited and so this meant that hosted solutions were deployed on unreliable and unmanaged internet access products. For a Hosted Telephony solution, this meant that the whole VoIP experience was in the main unsatisfactory, with huge quality related issues which hindered adoption of the technology.

Fast forward to 2016 and everything has changed. Not only is high quality Internet access readily available, the wide range of options from a variety of suppliers has driven down costs. High capacity leased lines are now available with exceptional Service Level Agreements from prices as low as just £200 per month. For smaller businesses, there is FTTC and a range of new “Assured” broadband technologies which guarantee Voice quality end to end for less than £50 per month. With all of these options at our fingertips, we can not only fulfil the promise of lowering your costs, but we can now deliver a Hosted solution with guaranteed quality, performance and reliability.

Which Connection?

So when we are asked about what type of data connection you would need when considering a Hosted or Cloud-based solution, this is what we advise as a typical rule of thumb:

Traditional ADSL broadband products won’t deliver consistent quality, reliability or response/fix times from the provider in the event of a fault. Because they offer relatively low bandwidth we would advise not to converge both Voice and Data onto an ADSL service unless for example you’re a single user working from home.

Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) is much more readily available now and so this is becoming a popular way of providing internet access. They offer much greater bandwidth so it would be possible to converge both Voice and Data onto a single FTTC. The downsides are that service level guarantees and fix times are less so if you’re voice services are mission critical, then this may not be the right product for you unless you double up on connections to give you the improved resilience and failover.

In most cases your entry level requirement carrying the lowest cost would be one of our “Assured” FTTC or ADSL services whereby your internet traffic is contained wholly within the service providers network and not the public internet, making it easier to control and provide a much better quality VOIP or Hosted service overall. The service level agreements are also much better than standard ADSL and FTTC services.

Ethernet based internet access is much more affordable today and there are many different options depending on where you are but typically these products include Ethernet First Mile (EFM), Ethernet over FTTC and Full Fibre. For mission critical voice, requirement to converge high volumes of voice and data onto a single internet access. Service Level agreements, response times and fix times are exceptional and this provides the ‘best of all’ internet access options.

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