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6 Reasons Why A Shared Broadband Network Can Be Bad For Business


According to an IBISWorld report, 30.8% of business activity is conducted online, up 10% in the last ten years. With so many critical business functions relying on the Internet, having a network outage or having constrained bandwidth can cost your business money. Some Internet service providers only offer broadband Internet or “shared Internet access” which forces you to share your Internet connection with others in your building, block, or neighborhood.

What is Broadband Internet?

A broadband Internet connection is a shared network, with multiple users sharing a broader connection, oftentimes in the same building. A shared connection only guarantees Internet up to a certain speed and bandwidth speeds are asymmetrical, meaning your upload and download speeds are different in each direction. Despite ordering a specific capacity (ex. 10 Gbps), the Internet service provider can take that 10 Gbps and disperse it among all of the tenants of an office building or multiple buildings in an area. Think of your Internet as a river, the more people who dam the river upstream, the less pressure you have when the water gets downstream to you. As a result, a shared Internet connection will cause you to see fluctuations in your Internet performance.

What is Dedicated Internet?

Dedicated Internet means that all of your subscribed Internet is dedicated to your business. If an Internet service provider promises 10 Gbps worth of bandwidth, you get access to all of that capacity all of the time. Dedicated Internet is like a private river that nobody else has access to.

A dedicated connection obviously has its benefits over a shared connection, but what does it actually mean for you? Here are some reasons why having a shared Internet connection could be bad for your enterprise.

1. It hinders your speed

With a broadband connection, Internet service providers only guarantee up to the advertised speed. These speeds are determined by the ISP’s network traffic and congestion, which varies by location or time of day. The lack of predictable speeds has many negative effects on your business including worse application performance, lower productivity, and a poor customer experience.

A slow connection negatively affects basic business functions and could cost your company its ability to function at an agile pace. Additionally, slower software and program performance can delay every step of your business, increasing delays exponentially.

System and program delays can have human implications as well. A 2020 study shows that those who have experienced an unreliable Internet connection – nearly 89%– waste an average of just over 30 minutes a day as a result, with 12% of that group losing an hour or more.

A dedicated Internet connection ensures that the bandwidth you expect is there when you need it.

2. It’s unpredictable

One of the easiest ways to have peace of mind in your network is knowing that your connection will work when you need it to. If you need to transfer data or work on time-sensitive projects but your neighbor a few floors down is using up bandwidth with high volume activity, it could affect the speed of your own processes. Dedicated bandwidth guarantees that you have access to all of your subscribed capacity at all times, instead of only during low traffic hours. Additionally, you can achieve symmetrical upload and download speeds without restrictions.

Shared bandwidth through broadband-only guarantees up to the advertised speed and will put multiple customers on the same connection, impacting performance. A dedicated Internet connection maintains consistent performance.

3. It can hinder your ability to scale

If your network can’t handle your current needs, how are you supposed to plan for growth? Dedicated Internet’s predictability makes planning easier. Trying to factor in other companies that are sharing your bandwidth makes it impossible to plan for the future.

Your neighbors could eventually use an even larger share of your bandwidth in the future if they are scaling up too. For example, with dedicated Internet, you could expect to be using about 10 Gbps worth of bandwidth, and if you knew you’d want to double your devices or employees soon, you could double your capacity and be fine. Additionally, most shared broadband connections have a maximum throughput of 1,000Mbps, limiting your ability to scale.

With a dedicated Internet connection, you know exactly how much bandwidth you get and you can turn up your capacity when needed.

4. It can compromise the security

Cybersecurity should always be a top priority for enterprises. If you handle sensitive data like customer or employee personal information, making sure that data is safe is an essential part of keeping your enterprise financially secure and trustworthy.

Not sharing your connection with other organizations in your building strengthens your cyber security and protects your network against breaches. When you have dedicated Internet access, outside threats become less of an issue, allowing you to tackle other security threats. Most companies that deal with sensitive data tend to use dedicated Internet access for added security.

5. It affects your ability to adapt

Being an agile company can affect your ability to thrive as a business. Having the foresight to prevent problems before they happen could be the difference between company growth or decline.

Additionally, as technology is moving to the edge, you want your connection to be as close and “local” as possible so you can react quickly. Tesla is a good example of this. Tesla’s cars are using the network, so they need to have their information kept locally so that their software can process data in real-time. Tesla is even building data storage centers in China for added security and quicker data access.

This same concept is happening in the office. Locally stored data and connections at the edge are now available, allowing you to be more proactive and efficient when using various technologies. This can benefit industries like AI, cloud computing, and systems that use real-time analytics.

6. It can cost you money

Generally, all of the downsides of a shared broadband connection boil down to one thing— money. Speed, predictability, security, and adaptability are all ways that can save money in the long run. A shared Internet connection can hinder your business’s ability to make money and do what it does best.

Not being able to provide services at a sufficient speed could mean higher customer churn and a decline in conversions. Risking the security of your customer and employee data could ruin your reputation as a secure business and lose the trust and confidence of your customers. A dedicated Internet connection can save you money. If you’re paying the same price for 20 Gbps of shared Internet vs 10 Gbps of dedicated Internet, that doesn’t mean you are getting a better bargain. Because you’re sharing the total capacity, you could be utilizing less than 10 Gbps of the shared Internet, making it far less cost-effective per “G.” If you aren’t getting your money’s worth, you could be getting short-changed.

Dedicated Internet is priced at a premium because it’s a premium service. You could be saving money in the long run by getting a dedicated Internet connection for your business. Find out what your options are with Zayo. Visit to learn more.