Top 5 Reasons to Switch to Dedicated Internet Access (DIA)
What Is Dedicated Internet Access (DIA)? A guide for business owners on bandwidth ROI.
Before we explain DIA (Direct Internet Access), we must first explain Best Effort Internet Access (BIA), also known as Shared Internet. Shared internet is what most of the world uses as their internet access of choice. In this article, we will be using BIA as an acronym for Shared Internet Access.
What is Shared Internet Access/Best Effort Internet Access (BIA)?
BIA is the cheapest type of internet access since it’s designed to provide internet to as many people as possible at the lowest cost. In most parts of the United States, BIA operates on cable technology, also known as Coax, where internet service is transmitted over a coax cable to thousands of people. BIA is great for residential use as most people are watching Netflix, using Facebook, or doing simple, low-risk things like playing video games. BIA is more than enough for most people, businesses, and applications. BIA is known as shared internet because hundreds or thousands of people use the internet from one coax cable, whereas DIA is very different.
What is Dedicated Internet Access (DIA)?
DIA is purpose-built for organizations that need consistent and reliable internet access with a service level agreement because if they lose internet, their business will experience a loss. DIA is an internet service where a business receives dedicated bandwidth, consistent internet service, and service level agreements with financial compensation during an outage. They don’t have to share their internet bandwidth/pipes with other businesses.
What is the difference between Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) & Best Effort Internet Access (BIA)?
The difference between DIA and BIA is the type of internet bandwidth both services receive. Bandwidth is the transmission capacity of a computer network, aka the internet speed end-users experience.
Think of bandwidth as the number of lanes on a highway. When you’re using a BIA network, you are one of many users/cars on that highway. If there are 3 lanes on the highway and you’re the only person driving on that highway, you can go as fast as you want. If there are 3 lanes on the highway and there are 1,000 cars on that highway in bumper-to-bumper traffic, you can only go as fast as the car in front of you, which is not very fast. With a DIA network, you get a private highway that belongs to your business, for your team exclusively.
BIA internet service is perfectly acceptable for homes and many small businesses because a slowdown in internet access from “rush hour traffic” is an inconvenience but isn’t likely to impact the company’s or home’s profitability. However, for businesses where any lag time or downtime in internet service can result in real-time revenue losses, dedicated internet access agreements are critical to the business’s continued profitability.
Is Dedicated Internet Access Ideal for Your Business?
Internet access varies according to usage. For example, personal web browsing and streaming suffer negligible impact if you share your internet connection with your neighbors. However, if your company’s services rely on the internet for mission-critical applications like video conferencing, transmitting sensitive application data, or hosting an application for dozens of users, splitting your internet bandwidth can reduce productivity.
Since DIA is intended for businesses with specialized applications, DIA Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have created specific service level agreements for companies who need dedicated internet access (DIA) that provide guaranteed and uninterrupted high-speed internet connectivity for their clients.
What are the benefits of Dedicated Internet Access?
1. Guaranteed Bandwidth
Dedicated Internet Access ensures your network traffic doesn’t have to compete for space on a shared information highway like it would with a shared internet access plan. The VOIP internet service provider for your Dedicated Internet Access will guarantee a specific amount of bandwidth for your company’s network.
With dedicated internet access, your network and users will never get stuck in traffic again. If your company’s revenue is dependent on continuous and reliable internet access, guaranteed bandwidth is a game changer. Businesses such as hotels, car dealerships, hospitals, and banks all require DIA to ensure their businesses run smoothly and efficiently.
2. Matched Upload and Download Speeds
People often download more data from the internet than they upload, which is why most internet service plans have download speeds significantly faster than upload speeds. However, businesses that rely on video conferencing, calling, chatting services, or other specialized applications require upload speeds that are as fast as download speeds to avoid lagging or service delays. Dedicated Internet Access ensures all users’ download and upload speeds are consistent around the clock. Some Best Effort Internet plans have symmetrical download and upload speeds, but most users don’t require that kind of internet service.
3. Greater Network Security
In an age when your company’s cybersecurity equals financial security, protecting your network is crucial. Dedicated Internet Access gives you a more secure internet connection as you don’t share your bandwidth with other companies or users, insulating your network from breaches and strengthening your overall cybersecurity. When you don’t have to worry about other networks threatening your network infrastructure, you can concentrate on addressing network security risks.
4. Better Customer Support from Your ISP (Internet Service Provider)
It is not uncommon to have to wait two to three business days for internet problems to be resolved when using residential or other shared internet access services. However, when you upgrade your VOIP internet service to dedicated internet access, your service requests become a top priority for your service provider and your internet problems are usually resolved on the same business day. Here is where the service level agreement (SLA) comes into play. All ISPs have a resolution schedule they have to meet with specific milestones and financial compensation if they are not able to meet their SLA.
For example, an ISP’s SLA states they must resolve outages within 4 business hours. If they don’t resolve an internet outage within 4 hours, they must compensate you 5% of your monthly bill. If you pay $1,000 per month for Dedicated Internet Access, and it takes them 4 hours and 1 minute to resolve the outage, your ISP will credit you $50 on your next invoice.
Whenever you sign up for Dedicated Internet Access, you want to get a copy of the service level agreement before you sign any contracts. You want to ask if you can get a countersigned copy of the SLA from the vendor and your leadership to ensure you have accepted their SLA and they have acknowledged your acceptance.
With Dedicated Internet Access, you are paying a premium on your internet service for guaranteed reliability and better customer support when needed. Due to its reliability, better internet services, and SLA’s, you rarely must engage with customer support as your service is prioritized. However, in cases of need, issues are resolved swiftly, minimizing the impact on you and the internet service provider.
5. ROI by Maximizing Network Up-Time
Dedicated Internet Access is more expensive than Best Effort Internet Access. Before signing up for a DIA service plan, you need to calculate how much a network outage will cost your business, what you can use as a backup if you experience an internet outage, and whether you need that type of network insurance (protection against outage). This is important as all businesses have different needs, and DIA is not necessary for every business.
To calculate whether signing a dedicated internet access agreement is worth the investment, you’ll need to weigh the benefits of DIA against the loss of revenue your company will incur if you don’t upgrade your service agreement with your service provider. Along with the loss of revenue, it’s important to consider how your clients will view your business after a network outage.
Slow internet service and poor network performance can be avoided by using a high-speed internet connection. There are Best Effort Internet plans that provide many of the same speeds as DIA without the Service Level Agreements that can work for most businesses, but for those who can’t afford to take a risk, DIA is the best solution. Furthermore, the cost of an internet or data breach can be enormous and should be avoided at all costs. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for internet access, and there are various criteria to consider when selecting the correct internet service provider near you, which may vary according to your geographic region. Other factors to consider are pricing and cost, installation interval, speed, Fiber vs. Copper, and provider quality. The best internet service can be determined after considering all of these.
If you’re looking to deploy internet service for your business, schedule your free consultation today with The VOIP Guru, and we’ll help you identify and deploy the best Internet Service for your business and organizational needs. Identifying the ideal BIA or DIA internet service provider can be confusing; we know this because we partner with over 40 internet service providers.
The VOIP Guru analyzes your communication & Contact Center Systems and works with your team to identify the best solution for your business. We aim to deliver a technical win, financial win, and business win while helping you benefit from the best rates from the United States’ top internet service providers.