Is it time to upgrade your business internet service

Business Internet Service – A 21 Question Checklist to Determine if its Time to Upgrade

Business Internet Upgrade – Is it Time?

If you clicked on this article, chances are you are questioning if your business Internet connection meets your current and future needs. By answering the following questions, you will determine whether it is time for an upgrade.

Upgrading your technology is a big step, but asking the right questions ahead of time will ensure you choose the optimal Internet solution to support your goals, growth plans, and budget. This article will walk you through what to consider before taking the leap.

1. Have you set up free Wi-Fi for customers?

Offering complimentary public Wi-Fi isn’t just a nice perk anymore – consumers expect it. In fact, it can often be the deciding factor when people choose an airline, cafe, shop, or other business.

Smart companies leverage customer Wi-Fi to collect email addresses and other valuable data. And most customers gladly share their details in exchange for access. Just ensure that your guest Wi-Fi is separate from the one used by employees to keep your business assets and data safe from hackers.

2. Are there Wi-Fi “dead zones” on your premises?

Spotty connections are more than just annoying; they impact your ability to serve clients and slow productivity. But you likely don’t need me to tell you it’s frustrating when websites stall to buffer, or video calls drop unexpectedly.

The good news is many business Internet service providers now use heat-mapping tools to identify and eliminate areas with poor coverage. Upgrading your network ensures reliable Wi-Fi wherever employees roam onsite.

3. Do you regularly update equipment and replace outdated routers?

If you’re scratching your head thinking, “Err, I’m honestly not sure about the security of my router,” then let that ambiguity fuel action. One study in 2019 revealed 32,000 vulnerabilities across just a sample size of 186 routers!

Make it a habit to upgrade firmware and swap out aging routers that pose security risks or cannot be patched. Your business data is too important to gamble with.

The key is adopting a proactive approach to technology maintenance rather than waiting for problems to crop up. Being prepared now will save you some headaches down the road.

4. How old is your current Internet hardware?

Since connectivity is the backbone of operations today, it’s natural to take your network for granted. But unlike the electricity grid, your Internet infrastructure won’t automatically adapt as your company’s needs change over time.

If you can’t remember the last time you reviewed your router, switches, servers, and subscriptions, consider this to be a good time. There may be simple solutions waiting that will relieve frustrating tech issues and align costs with usage.

5. Is your business expanding rapidly?

Growth is exciting, but the downside is how technology headaches seem to strike at the worst moments. Like when you desperately need to send that time-sensitive invoice or finalize payroll, but the website stalls out.

Rather than gamble with downtime, get out before expanding by auditing if your current infrastructure can handle more bandwidth-hungry applications, more connected devices, rising customer demand, and other ramp-up needs.

6. Does your provider offer backup Internet solutions?

Weather disasters or other emergencies always arise when we least expect them. Maintaining connectivity, even during power failures, can be a lifeline for communities relying on your services.

Backup solutions available from business Internet service providers may include:

  • LTE backup
A low-monthly LTE backup that allows businesses to continue operating during network and power outages. This service includes LTE failover, automatic connectivity, and customer email and SMS notifications
  • Cloud backup
A cloud-based backup solution that doesn’t require the purchase, storage, or maintenance of expensive equipment.
  • Cloud Backup as a Service (BaaS)
A service that automatically backs up data to a public, private, or hybrid cloud. A third-party provider handles maintenance and management instead of the in-house IT department.

7. Is your staff or IT team constantly troubleshooting tech issues?

An overburdened IT team perpetually putting out network fires is a red flag. The underlying problem may be aging equipment that lacks the horsepower to handle modern workload requirements.

If managing connectivity headaches prevents your IT pros from pursuing more strategic projects, it’s probably time for an infrastructure overhaul.

8. Do you need to support video calls, conferences, and streaming?

Video-based applications already account for over 80% of internet traffic, and experts expect this figure to continue to climb higher. Rich media files require major bandwidth, especially when accessed simultaneously across your network.

Before committing to business-wide use of streaming media tools, have your ISP assess current capacities. An equipment or plan upgrade at this juncture can save your business from surprise overage fees down the road.

9. Is your business adopting more cloud-based apps and services?

The cloud offers irresistible benefits – lower software costs, easier collaboration, and workflow continuity, among many others. However, migrating essential functions online can also put more performance demands on your local network.

Getting in front of shifting usage can prevent application timeouts or spotty service during high-traffic periods. A little planning today can help to create a clear path to follow for your adoption of the newer cloud solutions tomorrow.

10. Do you need to support Internet-connected security and surveillance systems?

Security cameras, access control systems, and sensors generate invaluable business insights. But all those extra devices communicating real-time alerts can also consume more bandwidth.

Before installing extensive IoT equipment, understand if your current infrastructure offers enough wired ports, wireless coverage, and throughput capacity to support them. An upgrade before deployment will prevent future slowdowns.

11. Does your network handle bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies?

Empowering employees to use their personal phones and laptops drives productivity gains, but without careful planning, it can also easily overwhelm your network with many devices vying for bandwidth simultaneously.

If supporting BYOD policies is impacting your existing Wi-Fi availability, causing slowness, or causing security concerns, a next-generation wireless upgrade should be a consideration.

12. Do you rely on the cloud for offsite data backup and recovery?

Hardware failures, human errors, and catastrophic events highlight why regular data backups are essential. But if your Internet connection is unreliable, backups may fail, leaving data vulnerable at the worst possible times.

Guarantee your ability to quickly recover from disruption by first shoring up connectivity speeds, uptime, and bandwidth. Cloud-based data protection solutions thrive on fast, reliable, modern networks.

13. Can your network manage more IoT devices in the future?

From building automation sensors to medical alert systems, Internet-connected devices and gadgets are infiltrating nearly every industry. The number of worldwide IoT devices is predicted to jump from 8.7 billion today to over 21 billion by 2025!

Ensure your infrastructure keeps pace by asking providers about network design choices, like increased PoE ports, dual-band Wi-Fi, and future-ready capacity, that power an IoT explosion.

14. Do you need symmetrical upload and download speeds?

While households mainly consume Internet data, businesses also generate large amounts of data that needs to be sent back out.

If you frequently push big files to the cloud, engage in two-way video calls, or upload on-premise security footage, consider symmetrical fiber Internet plans that can deliver equal upload and download speeds.

15. Do you currently have a business-class Internet plan?

It’s tempting to use a basic consumer-grade Internet package to save money when starting out. But once you open your doors or need to support critical operations, upgrading to a business-class service level is essential.

Commercial plans offer guaranteed uptime SLAs, dedicated account reps, pro installs, stronger Wi-Fi networks, and features tailored to operations. Don’t put profit at risk to save pennies on an Internet plan that does not meet your company’s true needs.

16. Does your provider offer managed IT service options?

Trying to personally stay atop the complex, ever-evolving technology landscape can quickly snowball out of control. Before getting overwhelmed, consider outsourcing network management and security to experienced IT solution providers.

Managed services provide 24/7 monitoring, maintenance, optimizations, and support. Leaving infrastructure administration to the experts liberates you to focus on running your actual business! Does your Internet provider offer managed services?

17. Do page load delays or buffering hold back your website?

Your website is often the first touchpoint between prospects and your brand. But even minor site speed issues lead to disastrous outcomes. According to Google research, 53% of mobile site visitors abandon pages that take over 3 seconds to load.

Migrating your site to lightning-quick fiber Internet prevents customers from bouncing to competitors. Bolster conversions by empowering visitors to seamlessly access information.

18. Are staff hours being wasted on technical frustrations?

Between troubleshooting connectivity problems, waiting for software programs to load, and constantly cycling overwhelmed routers, how much productivity bleeds out weekly in your organization?

Refreshing your technology stack can pay big dividends through recaptured time and reduced frustrations. Set your teams up for success by ensuring the infrastructure supporting them is fast and reliable.

19. Do you need advanced traffic shaping and prioritization?

Not all Internet activity is created equal when running a business. Non-critical recreational traffic should never interfere with crucial operations when bandwidth is maxed out.

Sophisticated traffic shaping technology analyzes packets and appropriately throttles or accelerates usage to optimize performance. Get more from your connection while eliminating priority inversion issues.

20. Does your phone system rely on your business Internet bandwidth?

Migrating your business telephone services to voice over IP (VoIP) unlocks major cost savings. But with phone calls relying on your internet pipeline, quality glitches can be disruptive, and spotty connectivity can garble important client conversations.

Guarantee crystal clear call quality by selecting a business-class Internet plan from a reliable provider, ensuring proper bandwidth, low latency, QoS mechanisms, and voice-optimized components. Don’t small cost savings on Internet services undercut VoIP success and savings you could enjoy?

21. Do you need a private, dedicated business network

Sharing network infrastructure with other companies can jeopardize security, reliability, and performance. For highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance, establishing an entirely discrete private network is also often a compliance mandate.

Dedicated business fiber and WiFi networks prevent bandwidth congestion while giving you total control over your connectivity environment. Private infrastructure also enables advanced customization around security protocols, backups, redundancy mechanisms, and more.


Asking the right questions upfront makes selecting the optimal, future-ready, and reliable Internet solution much easier for your business. As the cornerstone of most modern business operations, your connectivity deserves an honest assessment to determine if it aligns with current needs and plans for growth. Tackle the topics covered here, and you will steer your technology in the right direction while avoiding missteps.

Discover how enterprise-grade infrastructure, devices, and support can transform your organization by contacting Cox Business today. Visit us online at Learn More
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