Switching Internet Provider?

Nathan Hill-Haimes


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    In this article we cover why businesses switch nework provider, and how to successfully manage a network migration.

    Why switch network provider?

    Most businesses switch network provider for three reasons:


    1. Your Business Needs Faster Network Speed

    Your business depends on a quick, efficient and reliable internet service. You understand how crucial your internet service is to the efficient and successful operation of your business. Your business is probably becoming more and more reliant on cloud-based apps, VoIP and online storage. If your network slows down, your business slows down too.

    Switching to a faster service will improve the speed of downloading crucial information, and cloud-based applications will respond quickly to users. Quick, reliable internet service ensures that VoIP call quality is clear and that each day your business data is fully backed up.


    2. Your Business Network Reliability Is Poor

    If your network speed is slow, that's a problem, but if it stops your business is in danger of failure. ADSL, FTTC and other broadband services do not have guaranteed fix times. If your company is reliant on these internet services and you experience an outage, you could be down for days.

    Switching your business' network provider to a solution with contractual guarantees for uptime and speed will give you greater peace of mind and reduce the risk impact of an outage.


    3. Your Contract Is Up For Renewal

    If your network contract is due for renewal, there's a fantastic opportunity to negotiate a lower price. If your existing provider doesn't offer you a competitive deal, you could switch network provider to a more cost-effective contract.


    How To Manage Switching Internet Provider

    If you are looking to make a change, the following steps will assist you in making the transition.


    Step 1 – Check Your Current Service Provider Contract

    Your business will have a contract for the network services it receives. You need to check two essential things.

    Firstly has your contractual term come to an end? If not, your current network provider may implement penalty charges if you terminate your contract early. Your termination fees may sometimes be balanced out by a discount from your new service provider. See what options are available before deciding to switch.

    Secondly has your contract renewed? Many leased line contracts have an auto-renew clause. If you do not give notice up to 90 days before the end of the contract, the agreement may renew for another term. It is essential you provide your provider with notice to terminate the contract in ample time.


    Step 2 - Decide On Your Requirements Today

    Your business' efficiency is directly related to the availability of fast, always-on data connectivity. You need to be sure about how much bandwidth your business needs to operate efficiently. You can assess this using network monitoring tools such as SolarWinds or PRTG. If you are implementing VoIP, you will also need to allocate 100 Kbps upload and download per concurrent user. It is sensible to assess your bandwidth needs today and then allocate an additional amount of bandwidth for busy periods of time. If your average usage is 22Mbps, you may provision a 30Mbps network connection.


    Step 3 – Decide On Your Future Requirements

    Business bandwidth demands are increasing at an exponential rate. It's important to understand your current network speed needs as well as your future growth requirements. There are two important considerations you should be making when considering your future requirements:

    Firstly, you should be thinking about the total capability of the bearer when you order your internet access. If you need 50Mbps, you should also be thinking about what speed can you upgrade to, without having to install a new line? Most fibre contracts are 36 months; if you only have a 100Mbps bearer, you may not have enough capacity for the next three years. You could, therefore, consider a 200Mbps bearer or a 1Gbps bearer.

    Secondly, you should be looking out for grants that are available to future proof your communications. Some Gigabit schemes offer your business grant aid to install fibre to your business premises, thus futureproofing the line. Fibre lines can be upgraded almost infinitely and can offer speeds more than 50Gbps!


    Step 4 - Check Availability At Your Business Location

    Telecom networks across the UK are expanding. The fibre footprint is growing, and deregulation has resulted in more and more choice for your business. You will need to check each provider for availability at your business premises. Alternatively you could use a tool like AmviaSearch™.


    Step 5 - Compare Network Provider Prices

    Once you have an idea of which network providers have a presence at, or near, your business location, you will need to request a quote from each provider. Getting quotes can be time-consuming, it may require you to call 5 or 6 providers several times. This process of requesting and receiving leased line costs could take 4-6 weeks. You will probably receive an installation charge and a monthly rental fee from each provider. There will be a caveat that the prices are subject to survey. If your location needs construction work to install fibre, you may also get an ECC charge during the provisioning process. If this is the case, you can choose to cancel your order without penalty.

    AmviaSearch™ can help make comparing prices simple and easy with our instant online leased line comparison.


    Step 6 – Research Your Potential Network Provider

    Does the network provider you are considering have a reference customer you can speak to? Check out the online reviews as well. Experiences of past clients are a great way to evaluate a company. Read the fine print in your contract especially regarding contract renewal and service level agreements, to ensure you are completely satisfied with what is being offered to you.


    Step 7 - Plan The Move Well In Advance

    If you are responsible for IT, you are expected to keep all business systems running smoothly and without interruption during a network migration. You need to ensure that there is an overlap between network providers and that your network provider efficiently manages any installation hurdles such as wayleave. 

    You also need to check if you have any IP addresses that your services rely on?  VPN's, webservers, email servers, firewalls will all have IP addresses. When you switch provider you''ll get a new IP range and you'll need to update all of these IP addresses.
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