Japan and Korea are fabulous places to run internet. When they say, high speed broadband, they mean high speed. There are two types of services, services that promise a certain speed all the time, and those that internet services that are ‘best effort’. Best effort services are normally fast, but they have no SLA or Service Level Agreement. That means that there is no promise of the speed of internet you would get. If you want a committed speed or bandwidth from your ISP (internet service provider) you need to sign up for a dedicated service, or a service with an SLA.
With no SLA, your internet bandwidth is shared with the people around you. Typically, people with these best effort services have a 100 mbps service that usually gives them speeds of about 40-50 mbps in Japan. That means video, telephone traffic, browsing and email in the office are no problem if you are in a small office. The problem is when someone nearby starts uploading or downloading huge files (such as video, graphics, or publishing), your speed may drop to 1 mbps or even worse. There is no promise from the ISP so you can’t complain. Besides the monthly rate is cheaper for the dedicated ISP services.
Are Best Effort Services Worth The Risk?
For a small office, a best effort internet service might be usuable. However, if you suddenly have someone hogging bandwidth on that service in your building or area of service, it’s going to affect you and your team as well. Your browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, or Opera might start loading slower. Your email may trickle in slower. Worse yet, if you’re using cloud phones such as iPBX Circle, the voice quality couple be affected.
The Evolving Internet
The internet 4 or 5 years ago may have been fast enough on best effort services but things are evolving. People are using more and more cloud based apps on their internet connections. Best effort internet services are really designed for consumers, or home users. You may have gotten by with your services on a best effort plan, but with the changing internet, you may risk slowing down your team.
Your Most Powerful Client Tool
The most powerful client tool you have is likely your phone system. This is how your team talks to your clients. If you want to avoid having your clients complain about your team sounding bad on the phone, it’s probably best to get a dedicated internet service at your site. There is no need to have a phone system in your office. It can be anywhere. However, if your internet is unstable, you are on shaky ground. You can’t complain to the ISP if a best effort service is bad, but you can complain if you have a guaranteed throughput. If you are a 2-5 person office, you might be okay on a consumer service. However, if your business is important to you, it’s time to go dedicated internet. You will never regret you did.