Are you paying too much for internet at your practice?
A bee sting. A stubbed toe. Skinned knees. Slow internet. No, these are not a few of my favorite things. Especially the latter. In fact, the latter is probably worse than all the others combined. You ever been streaming a movie and all you get is the spinning circle of death? It’s maddening! Nothing ruins “Netflix and chill” more than slow internet speed. But, as a business owner, having your movie interrupted by slow internet isn’t the worst thing that could be interrupted, your business is. We can all agree slow internet is terrible but just as bad as paying for slow internet is paying too much for internet service that you don’t need/use. It’s essential to know what the right internet speed for your business is to best serve your customers. But, that doesn’t mean you have to buy the biggest and fastest internet package available. There’s a fine line where you can have the perfect amount of speed and still keep your bottom line happy.
Unless your practice is located way out in the boonies, you should have access to major, reliable internet service providers. First things first, internet connections have two connections speeds: downloading and uploading. A company might list their service like this 3/1Mbps. Mbps stands for megabits per second. The first number means download speed. The second number means upload speed. Download speed is the speed at which you can receive files off the internet. Upload is the speed at which you can put files on the internet. These are called bandwidth. Bandwidth is extremely important when considering internet for your office. Picture this – you are in your office uploading x-rays to send to a specialist and you have three patients in your waiting area streaming music, downloading movies, and posting to social media. If you don’t have the right bandwidth for your practice those x-rays may take days to be uploaded because your patients are eating up your bandwidth.
Whether you want to offer free wifi to your patients while they wait. Or, maybe you want to run your office from the cloud. Whatever it is your going to be doing with your practice it’s important to know what your getting with your business internet packages. No one can predict the future, but picking a business internet package feels a lot like that. You must account for employee usage, patient usage, projected business growth, and many other factors. No internet use is equal from one employee to the next but a good rule to go by when considering internet for the office is about 5 Mbps of download speed and .5 Mbps of upload speed for every employee/device/user. While in the internet’s early years bandwidth was slow and capped, we are now living in an age where “high speed” internet really is fast. In today’s world “fast” has become relative term based on what we need as consumers. For some businesses fast internet may be 300/20 Mbps. But for your practice something like 50/5 might do the trick. There’s a special beauty in speed and knowing what’s fast enough. There’s also beauty in saving money. Picking the right internet service for your practice is a delicate dance between the two.