Right around late summer into early fall, we start receiving requests to assist customers in relocating their IT infrastructure in to new office facilities. They’ve outgrown their existing office space and are looking to upgrade into some new digs, or perhaps they had to downsize in to a smaller office. If your organization is in a similar position and looking for a new location or expanding in to an additional location, take care to go one step further and see which internet service providers (ISPs) are available before signing any agreements. Those available ISP options may leave you wishing you had moved elsewhere.
Rent tends to be high, if not at the top of the list of important factors for many small businesses when choosing that final location, but if that area isn’t serviced by an ISP with reasonable rates for the speeds the company needs, then those cost savings may not pan out. Many companies rely on fast and reliable internet access to deliver their services, message and products to customers or potential customers.
With the growing popularity of hosted IT services like those provided by Microsoft Office 365, the cheap DSL service may not be fast enough to deliver a positive end-user experience for staff. Most locations that have DSL also have more reliable T1 options available to them but are significantly more expensive, particularly when combining multiple T1s together to achieve the necessary bandwidth. High-performance fiber optic or Ethernet services may also be available, but are generally north of $1,000 per month for the least expensive subscription options.
When all is said and done, that shiny new office might be browsing the internet on a painfully slow circuit. Worse yet, you might be shelling out more in rent and ISP costs than had you gone with the cleaner, slightly more expensive office space that was serviced by the right internet provider. As a beneficial side effect, all those property owners who haven’t ponied up the investment to make more ISPs available in their facilities could be motivated to do so or risk unoccupied office spaces for a long time!
If your company is planning a move, take the extra step to audit available internet providers. The additional planning ahead of time can save you from a headache — or even keep you from regretting your decision to move because of decreased productivity or unexpectedly high costs. Finding the right solution for your company can be a guessing game, so don’t shy away from idea of seeking guidance from a professional who can help make the right decision.
Bobby Wittenberg is the project design engineer for IQ Systems Inc.