By Dan Baldwin
Many business owners wonder, "Why is the broadband Internet connection at my home so cheap and the one at my office so expensive?" I mean seriously, a 1.5 meg T-1 at work is upwards of $400 per month while a 35 meg connection at home is under $100 a month?
Maybe the the federal government should look into it, right?
Well maybe that's starting to happen now that the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has issued a first ever report on whether consumers are getting what they're paying for (or buying more than they need) in the way of their residential Internet service.
I've thumbed through it myself and am pleased to learn that the fiber Internet service I use in my own home office performed pretty well. (I actually learned about the report when my service provider - Verizon FiOS - sent me an email proclaiming the FCC "says we're best" or words to that effect.)
Why is the FCC's Residential Broadband Report Important for Your Business?
As more and more business owners send their desk-bound employees to work at home out of a home office, the quality of the broadband connection the employee can get at home is critical to the employer's ability to stay connected to (and keep tabs on) the employee during work hours.
Fortunately the FCC report on residential broadband service is good news for business owners. The QoS or "quality of service" delivery (the bandwidth, latency, etc. that's promised versus what's actually achieved) was anywhere from 85% to 125% depending on the service provider.
With home Internet service being so cheap (I have a 35 meg up and 35 meg down service for under $90 per month), businesses can afford to max out their employees home Internet service to ensure the very best connectivity.
Network Service 24/7 IT Support Available as Well
One of the biggest drawbacks for business owners considering allowing their employees to work from home at a remote office has been the percieved drain on the company to support a home worker's IT needs. All the broadband in the world won't increase a home worker's productivity if their computer isn't working right or their Internet connection is having problems.
Who can afford 24/7 remote IT support for employees working at a home office? The answer is practically any business owner can afford it through multiple outsourced IT solution providers.
Even I, the world's most frugal business owner, can afford it. While trying to get my Blackberry smartphone to connect to my computer recently I learned that my residential broadband service provider offers "premium 24/7 computer support" for every computer in my house (six at last count) for under $20 a month total. I quickly subscribed to that plan!
As well, I have another local computer guy that does annual hardware support for about $150 per year per computer. Sure it all sounds kind of knit together - but it works. I no longer pay per hour for PC support. If my two "all you can eat" IT service guys can't fix the problem I simply get a new computer, reload my apps and I'm back in business.
But Is My "Doing-Business-on-a-Residential-Internet-Connection" Secure? (I think it is!)
I have a credit card merchant services account for my business and after 15 years my credit card prosessing service provider finally required me to prove my "PCI compliance" to ensure hackers can't break through my firewall to steal my customer's credit card information. I was a little worried because all my Internet firewall security is provided by my broadband service provider. I thought for sure I was going to fail the security test.
But I passed! Whatever Verizon is doing to keep my home office properly firewalled and secure must be working becaused I passed a PCI compliance and security intrution test performed by one of the biggest names in credit card processing.
What does This All Mean for YOUR Business? Give us a call!
Not every business can safely and successfully setup their employees to work from home over residential grade broadband Internet connections. But may other businesses can.
To see whether your business can take advantage of employee efficiency increases and cost savings of "sending employees home", let us introduce you to one of the many IT consultants we trust and recommend to our clients.
My business succeeds with home based workers. Let me share with you my "lessons learned" to see what can work with your business.
Looking for a Southern California based, vendor neutral business communications technology service expert that can help you out with your multi-location telecom or data network problems?
Click here to learn about how we might be able to fix your problem for free, then contact me directly at 951-251-5155 or Dan@BaldwinTel.com.
BaldwinTel helps multi-location businesses across the United States but specializes Southern California especially San Diego County, Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County.