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Fiber is important to small business success

July 16, 2019



By 2020, close to 80% of all U.S. small businesses will be using the Cloud according to “Small Business Success in the Cloud,” a report from Emergent Research which was sponsored by Intuit®.  Does this really surprise anyone? The advantages of moving to the Cloud for small businesses are very strong. The surprise isn’t how many are going to the Cloud, but how few consider their network infrastructure (coax versus fiber) prior to going.

Small Business Cloud Advantages

Going to the Cloud provides big advantages for small businesses. They can eliminate large capital expenses on software and hardware. The Cloud reduces or eliminates the need for closet data centers requiring specialized conditions. With the Cloud small businesses also no longer must worry about how to scale or backup complex systems.

How Current is Your Network Infrastructure?

To help put network infrastructure into perspective let’s draw an analogy to electricity and plumbing. Electricity was invented in the late 1800s but wasn’t in the majority of homes until the late 1940s. Indoor plumbing also found its way into the mainstream around the same time. If you bought a house built pre 1950s wouldn’t you be concerned about electricity and plumbing?

We connect to the Cloud through the Internet. The pipe that brings the Internet into most small businesses is a coax cable. Why is this important? That coax cable was likely put in during the late 1970s or early 1980s when cable TV hit mainstream. We’ve all heard of dog years being seven times human years. Technology years are similar when comparing network infrastructure to plumbing and electricity.

If you’re still using coax to get Internet, you’re living in a house built pre 1950s and you haven’t checked out the plumbing and electricity. Another way to look at this is, that you’re using a 2G cell phone in a soon-to-be 5G world. Isn’t it time to upgrade?

How much faster is Fiber than Coax?

Standard coax supports speeds from 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps, while Fiber offers speeds up to 10 Gbps. At a minimum Fiber is going to be ten times faster than that coax cable you’re still using for the Internet. It also supports the same speed for upload as a download. Here’s a quick comparison of common file download speeds to help illustrate this point:

Length and type of media

Approximate size




1000Mbps (Gigabit)

4-minute song

4 MB





5-minute video

30 MB





2-hour movie

1.0-1.5 GB





2-hour HD movie

3.0-4.5 GB





Misc. Archive

10 GB

Forget it

Too long


1m 20s

Is Fiber available?

Fiber is the backbone of the telecom and cable industries, so it’s likely available. It’s probably nearby but most likely needs to be run to your business. Getting Fiber run to your business isn’t free, but it might not be as expensive as it sounds. Many Internet providers are expanding their fiber networks and may be willing to absorb some of the cost.

How reliable is fiber?

Once again, fiber-optic comes out on top of coax. Fiber is proven to be more consistent and higher performing. With fiber the line is dedicated to your business, with coax it is shared with other businesses. When you’re sharing a line there is a risk another business may impact the performance of your network.

How much is this going to cost me?

Coax has to win somewhere, right? Well, it does still maintain a slight advantage in price, but that gap is shrinking. Internet service providers want to propagate fiber because it is more efficient and reliable.

Businesses with multiple locations can gain significant efficiencies and cost advantage by using a fiber connection between offices or fiber at headquarters and coax at remote locations.

Learn more about CIT network infrastructure solutions here.

About Complete Interactive Technologies, Inc. (CIT)

Like all of Connection’s services, Network Infrastructure Services are customized to your business requirements. Our experts will work with you to determine the services you need to reach today’s goals with an eye on areas for growth. From SMBs to enterprise organizations, federal and higher education to healthcare, we can tailor these services to fit your organization and your industry.

About the Author: PAUL YANTUS

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