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5 questions to ask when reviewing broadband service providers

Just like many other products, all internet service providers (ISPs) are not created equal. When it is time for your business to review and/or upgrade its internet connection, there are several factors that should be taken into account regarding the selection of an ISP.

First and foremost, don’t base decisions on price alone, advise network account executives at SDN Communications. Otherwise you risk getting what you pay for. It is easy to compare on price; however, it is incredibly important to consider the overall value of the product and service package that you will receive.

Following are five of the most important questions that should be asked:

1. Reliability. How dependable is the network backbone? What would happen in the case of an outage?

SDN’s network is backed up to provide 99.985 percent uptime. With help from a system of batteries and generators, the network is even protected during power outages. The company’s self-healing, fiber optic network webs around South Dakota and reaches into seven other states.

In addition, SDN's network is quad-homed. The connections with four other upstream providers ensure that, should one provider have a bad day, the others are there to pick up the slack.

2. Network traffic. Will your voice, video or data travel a guaranteed pathway or risk getting clogged up in a shared pathway?

Cable, DSL and wireless connections are all shared connections. This means that at peak times of the day multiple businesses all attempt to access the same network lines. This can considerably slow down connection speeds and limit productivity.

Dedicated broadband connections, like the ones provided by SDN, ensure that information travels at consistently high and predictable speeds. Since the speeds don't fluctuate during the day, your business is able to maintain the highest levels of efficiency and productivity.

3. Transfer speed. What upload and download speeds are available? Are they synchronous, meaning do they travel at the same speed? Are the speeds easily scalable?

Synchronous upload and download speeds allow clients to plan and use time efficiently. Synchronous speeds become especially important when streaming audio and/or video. They also improve productivity for businesses like law firms and engineering offices that transfer large amounts of data.

4. Customer service. Does your provider offer a single point of contact, all day, every day, with access to a network engineer for help? Or will you risk winding up talking to a call center trainee reading from a script?

SDN clients have round the clock access to SDN’s network operations center (NOC) as well as to their account representative. But support doesn't just happen after the sale. At SDN, sales engineers are part of the process from day one, helping to ensure a smooth transition to a better connection.

5. Ease of doing business. Can the provider respond quickly on orders? Can it make decisions locally?

SDN's clients are offered customized solutions put together by local experts using the best equipment. Because all decisions are made locally, our experts are responsive to your company needs.

When researching business ISPs, it all boils down to service. How responsive will the network be? How knowledgeable is the staff? How solid is the product or service?

At a company like SDN, where they only offer business-to-business services, business customers will have a higher level of overall service then what they might receive from a provider that must divide attention between business and residential customers.

So remember, all ISPs are not created equal.

To consult with one of SDN's B2B experts, call 800-247-1442 or contact us online.