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How do I Survive Slow Speeds and Unreliable Service until Superfast Broadband Reaches My Lovely Rural Location?

Despite going on ten years of widely heralded (though largely ineffective) government initiatives, thousands of small and medium-sized businesses throughout the UK, who depend on the Internet to trade, are hurt by the inexcusable underdeveloped state of UK’s telecom infrastructure.

They hurt in an absolute sense, because slow speeds or a temporary interruption in service can stop them from taking payments from customers. What is a garden centre or farm shop to do if their Internet goes down for an hour? Not only do they lose thousands or tens of thousands of pounds in trade, their reputation suffers, something they can ill afford in the wake of government imposed Covid restrictions. They also hurt in a comparative sense, as their larger more urban based competitors benefit from longstanding telecoms infrastructure which has been in place for years. Though it is an unacceptable state of affairs, the reality is that it will still be several years if not more before these small and medium-sized businesses see the benefits of superfast Internet.

Many of the customers we have spoken to have addressed the reliability issue by having multiple ADSL lines. This will help if the Internet issue being experienced is down to one line (usually it is not). There are a number of problems with this approach:

Problems with Multiple ADSL Broadband Lines

  • If the problem is caused by a fault at the local BT exchange, the problem will affect all of the lines, so in this case, resiliency has not been achieved;
  • All of your lines are contending for the same bandwidth, as are your neighbours, at the local exchange;
  • Multiple lines means multiple line charges and multiple ADSL charges – it is expensive;
  • Most SMEs do not have their multiple lines configured for automatic failover, so at best they will still be able to serve customers, but maybe over one till instead of several, or at worst have costly downtime while they reconfigure their lines, hoping to be able to continue their daily trade.

Alternatives to Multiple ADSL lines

  • Fibre leased lines. This is an excellent solution as it is a high speed service with no contention and a reasonable SLA. This solution is however not available to most because of its high installation and monthly cost. BT will charge a single customer and their ISP thousands or even tens of thousands of pounds in installation and excess construction charges just to put in the fibre to the rural location.
  • Satellite Broadband. Traditional Satellite has been problematic because of the high latency (caused by the satellites’ distance from the earth) which can be problematic when processing time sensitive point of sale (POS) transactions or using voice over IP (VOIP). New and lower orbit satellites are better in this regard but the satellites still are not there and the service is still patchy depending on location and time of day.

Alternate Service Provider (ASP) Integra offers a fourth way:

Combining 2 x window or outdoor antennas, dual sourced 2 x or 4 x SIM cards, an advanced SDWAN router, all installed by knowledgeable engineers, Integra Networks offers a resilient service that will achieve speeds of up to either 60 Mbps or 150 Mbps. Inherently resilient, the service uses the infrastructure of two leading cellular providers to get to two physically separate data centres which both have their own feeds into the World Wide Web.

Further recommending this solution, your existing ADSL, fibre, or satellite connectivity can be integrated into the Integra SDWAN Router. This means:

  • Greater Speed. Your services will all work together simultaneously, giving you greater speeds than you have now or would have if you are manually switching services or using single ADSLs for each till for example.
  • Greater Resiliency. Integra’s service itself uses 2 different cellular providers making it resilient as a standalone solution. As it is completely separate from BT or anyone else you would use for ADSL, combining Integra’s and your existing provider in an active-active configuration provides not only more throughput, but excellent resiliency as well. In the unlikely case that your Integra service went down, your ADSL would be a hot backup and in the more likely case that your ADSL went down, Integra’s would automatically take over.
  • Lower cost. If your business is employing multiple ADSL services, taking our service and combining the two will enable you to cancel your extra ADSL circuits. Remember for each ADSL, you are paying line rental for the copper wire and a monthly fee for the ADSL service itself. Adding in Integra’s service may very well lower your monthly outgoings, giving you much much more for less!
  • Traffic prioritisation. Using the Integra SDWAN router, we can prioritise different types of traffic. For you VOIP maybe mission critical. For someone else, POS payments may be the priority.

Once the promised superfast Britain reaches your green lovely rural setting, you can take advantage of what’s on offer and keep the Integra solution in place as backup.

If the above has resonated with you, we encourage you to call us on 0203 388 7111, email us on connect@integra-connect.co.uk or chat to us on our website. We will be glad to speak with you over the phone or in person about your specific requirements and issues and explain clearly what we can offer to improve your situation.

Our standard contract is 12 months, but if you have a specific short term requirement, we will find a way to make that work. We would love to speak with you.

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