The digital revolution is transforming business for the better, empowering those who take the leap to be smarter, agile and more productive. But there’s a fundamental requirement before that can happen.
It’s called the bottom line for a reason. The end goal for any business should always be growth. While the path to financial success will vary from business to business, few would deny that lower costs, increased productivity and the ability to respond to market changes more quickly is a significant boon for any business. That’s where fibre comes in.
To be clear, simply owning a fibre connection doesn’t ordinarily boost productivity or agility, not until it’s taken advantage of as an enabler of new processes and an access card to powerful technology otherwise unavailable to businesses. So, what are these advantages, and why are businesses excited about a future connected by fibre?
1. What’s different about fibre?
Where fibre differs from all other cable-based broadband options is how it transmits a signal, or data. Traditionally, data was relayed via an electrical signal transmitted over copper cables. Fibre optics, or fibre, uses the transmission of light over thin strands of glass or plastic, known as optical fibres.
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It’s an extremely efficient way of transferring data, many orders of magnitude faster than any other technology: up to 1Gbps, more than 10x the speed of the next fastest connection, VDSL. It’s so efficient that a single fibre strand, a tenth as thick as a strand of human hair, can carry approximately 25 000 telephone calls.
But, the advantages don’t end at raw speed. When compared to copper, fibre costs just one-third of the price to deploy, is much more resilient to natural phenomena, and because it has virtually no resale value on the black market, it’s of little interest to cable thieves.
Put simply, fibre is faster, more secure and more reliable than any other form of high-speed broadband.
2. A big bump in productivity
While fibre offers numerous advantages over other high-speed broadband alternatives, it’s chiefly selected for its unparalleled speed, but why do you need more speed? Perhaps the better question to ask is, why wouldn’t you need more speed?
For one, video conferencing or downloading large files won’t bring the rest of the office to a standstill, a problem typically experienced with older connections. You also gain access to the cloud, a technology that demands fast, secure and reliable access, but yields significant net benefits. With the cloud, you can mobilise your operational tools and resources, enabling you to work from anywhere, at any time.
That boosts employee morale, as they’re now able to work from home or during more flexible hours. It also empowers technicians, salesmen and employees in general to be more productive onsite, or when visiting a client or customer, cutting down on travel time, improving the customer experience and enhancing productivity.
3. Connect to the cloud and prosper
Improving productivity and work-life balance are undoubtedly some of the cloud’s most sought after benefits, but they’re just a few among many. Cloud computing is quite literally revolutionising business. With it you can:
- Extend your business’s geographical reach.
- Enable remote offices or individuals to work collaboratively.
- Significantly bolster disaster recovery by creating remote backups of your data.
- Radically transform cyber security.
- Gain access to affordable, near-limitless processing power and storage.
It’s hard not to see the appeal in the cloud, and that’s just the start. Cloud isn’t just good for your business continuity or accelerating your speed-to-market, but it connects you to numerous new business systems.
Just imagine what you could do with a cloud PBX and telecommunications system that plugs all inbound calls directly into your CRM; real-time analytics and reporting of your entire business at the click of a finger; or just the ability to have an ERP system or managed service provider handle your operations for you, so you can focus on that bottom line. And all of it is dependent on your ability to quickly, reliably download and upload data.
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4. Do more for less
While connecting your business to smarter, more efficient business processes, fibre does have another more direct relationship with growth – reducing costs. Fibre isn’t just cheaper to deploy, it’s actively cheaper to run.
A 100Mbps fibre connection, for example, will cost a little over three times as much as a 10Mbps ADSL connection, but thanks to a lower contention ratio and the improved signal quality delivered by fibre, you get more than ten times the speed in real world tests.
Crucially. It’s the synchronous upload and download speeds of fibre that gives it such a huge advantage over other connections, which typically sport much slower upload speeds as compared to their download. And because many cloud services require a lot of data be uploaded, copper cables cripple the experience.
5. It’s seamless and easy
For businesses where uptime isn’t just a luxury but a mandate, and downtime is untenable, or even dangerous in the case of emergency services, fibre’s light speed connection has another sought after advantage – uptime.
That’s thanks to the physical properties of the connection: light doesn’t degrade over long distances like an electrical signal does, which means a more reliable connection for those businesses that aren’t right next to an exchange. It’s also impervious to magnetic fields and is completely resilient to changes in the weather.
Fibre really does have the potential to be a game changer for your business. In fact, when utilised correctly, it’s so integral that many businesses simply could not survive without it. But even for businesses that can survive without high-speed internet, fibre provides such a massive advantage that it’s tough to see them going back.
6. Impact on GDP growth
A recent World Bank study found that a 10% increase in fixed broadband penetration would increase GDP growth by 1.21% in developed economies and 1.38% in developing ones. For businesses connected by fibre, forward is the only direction.