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Is consumer network traffic throttling your business bandwidth?

The chances are, it probably is.

This is because most of the big internet service providers’ (ISPs’) networks are being used by consumers and businesses at the same time. As a result of the bandwidth throttling caused by consumer network traffic, your business performance could be suffering.

And did you know: the UK is lagging when it comes to broadband speeds anyway? We’re 31st in the league table, falling behind most of Europe. That being the case, UK businesses would do well to find ways of ensuring they have access to uninterrupted, high-speed connectivity that’s not throttled by an increasingly heavy load of consumer traffic.

What is bandwidth throttling?

In layman’s terms, it simply means limiting how quickly a user can access something on the internet. In even simpler terms, you might think of it as an imposed ‘internet bottleneck’.

ISPs often resort to deliberately slowing down the service in this way to limit certain types of traffic, reduce congestion or, in the worst-case scenarios, prevent service outages caused by overloading. In terms of consumer traffic, this could mean an ISP throttling bandwidth due to a heavy amount of data being downloaded from Netflix at a particular time of the day or week, for example. For businesses, this could mean slower than usual cloud services to account for higher than usual consumer demand.

In an age when just two companies – Netflix and YouTube – are consuming half of all internet bandwidth, as reported recently in the Financial Times, it’s very likely that your business’ bandwidth is being affected by consumer-related congestion.Why a business-only data service is key

Having enough bandwidth to keep your business running smoothly can quite literally be a competitive differentiator. Connectivity can mean the difference between a consumer using your services or taking their custom elsewhere. It’s key to offering a consistently quick service to your customers and maintaining your brand reputation, which is essential for all businesses in today’s tough business landscape.

Finding a data service that supports the pace of your business is, as ever, crucial. As is making sure you’re not battling with consumers for bandwidth, which has the potential to choke business-critical services and applications, and has a knock-on effect on employee effectiveness and productivity. Having consumer traffic on your network also hampers your potential to be part of an increasingly agile, collaborative, cloud-based working landscape and, ultimately, it could be affecting your bottom line.

To ensure you’re providing the best possible service to customers, organisations should look to business-only networks that are totally free from heavy consumer traffic (so you’ll no longer be affected by all those Netflix and YouTube binges). The right provider should be able to guarantee great connectivity speeds, whatever the time of day, leaving you free to focus on the important stuff – like building your IT strategy and growing your business.

Learn more about how to find the right data services provider for your business needs in our blog: Finding the data service that supports the pace of your business

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