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Small Business Digest


Growing Dependency On Broadband Means Even Small Firms Face Pitfalls Caused By Providers

As more and more of even the smallest homebased businesses become increasingly dependent on high-speed intertet connections, they are also subject to increasing problems.

Whether choosing a big name provider or a local ISP, many homebased firms have difficult impediments to face.

Installing broadband internet and related information technology services can be complex and filled with pitfalls. Small business leaders need to be aware of the impact of potential service failures before they choose a company to provide internet, telephone, television and related services.

The wrong choice can lead to a significant loss of profit.

For example, AT&T’s “U-verse” system has recently been criticized by many for installation delays and lack of capabilities, ineffective telephone customer service and failure of installed services. Many AT&T customers report the company’s various business units are unable to communicate with one another.

Competing service providers, such as Comcast, Charter Communications, and Vonage, have also been criticized for the same reasons. Many cell phone services, including internet and email, are also vulnerable to these issues.

Pricing for IT services is also a piece of this puzzle, varying significantly by location and cost-effectiveness.

Locations around the United States have many different broadband service options. Selecting the best provider can be challenging and requires careful consideration. Decision makers should keep in mind that even a brief lack of broadband service can significantly impact productivity, especially if the business model depends on the internet and email.

Web forums, blogs and bulletin boards are a good source of information about local IT providers. Some providers perform very well in some locations and very poorly in others. Many providers contract with third party services, which means their quality depends on location and can vary over time. It’s important to listen to what others in a given area have to say about available options, so business leaders should search and shop carefully before making decisions.

If you have an experience to share, email

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