Why Business Internet is More Expensive: In-Depth Analysis

Business Internet may seem the same as home Internet, but why is it often more expensive? This article explores the differences between home and business internet and why it often costs more. 

What is business Internet?

Business Internet is a specialized Internet connection tailored for commercial use, boasting features not typically required at home. These features enhance the overall online experience for businesses.

Features of Business Internet

  • Static IP Address: Essential for hosting servers and remote access.
  • 24/7 Dedicated Support: Ensures prompt assistance at any time.
  • Guaranteed Repair Times: Minimizes downtime.
  • Enhanced Security: Protects sensitive business data.
  • Dedicated Account Manager: Offers personalized service.

Like residential internet, it utilizes the TCP/IP protocol for global connectivity.

How expensive is business Internet? Why is it more Expensive?

Business Internet costs vary from $35/month to $3,000 monthly or more. It’s most commonly divided into the following ranges in Canada:

TechnologyPrice range (Canadian Dollars)
DSL/ADSL Internet$35-100/month
GPON or PON fibre$80-250/month
Fixed Wireless or Microwave$150-700/month
Dedicated Fibre-optic Internet$400-3000/month
Geostationary Satellite$50 – $8,000/month

Comparing Business and Residential Internet

Business Internet has some better features than residential Internet, but those features are often business process related, not necessarily the product itself. 

Customer Support Differences

  • 24/7 Helpline: Unlike limited home internet support.
  • Priority in Troubleshooting: Faster response and repair times.

One example is the 24/7 helpline. As a home Internet subscriber, you may be forced to wait days for your internet to be fixed, and you can only call support during conservative business hours (9-5). You may also experience waiting on hold for hours and customer support that is less than stellar if customer reviews hold any truth. While it sounds good to have a priority helpline, you may still have to wait on hold for long periods. This can be the experience whether you pay for a Dedicated service or a GPON service, and cannot necessarily be predicted. 

With the large carriers, if they are experiencing an outage there could be thousands of businesses affected, so good luck getting your call answered!

Network and Bandwidth Considerations

  • In-Building Wireless Access Network: Enhances internal connectivity.
  • Dedicated Bandwidth: Guarantees consistent internet speed.

One often better feature is the in-building wireless access network – if set up correctly. If you operate a business more significant than your house, you’ll likely add wireless access points connected to the router with a local network or LAN. The enhanced wifi deployment may make the Internet seem better, but actually, it’s your investment in the internal wireless network that leads to a better experience.  

Another feature of the more expensive business Internet is being dedicated to you. This means your business will always have the bandwidth you pay for. This is a big difference compared to home Internet, where you always get “up-to” speeds.

To learn more about reliability, check out Is Business Internet More Reliable?

Business Internet for Home Offices

With the rise of remote work, the question arises: Can you get business Internet at home?

Can you get business Internet if you work from home?

Throughout 2021 and 2022, working from home is part of our lives in Canada. While you enjoy sweatpants and unlimited snacks, the Internet may not be as stable, and that deal you present is still worth your company the same amount! This begs the question, can you get business Internet at home? From our research, the answer is yes, but you may notice some differences in the process.

Contract and Feature Differences

  • Contractual Obligations: More common in business plans.
  • Feature Limitations: Certain features might be unavailable in home setups.

It’s common for a business to sign a 3-year contract for new services, but home Internet may not require a contract. 

There could also be some missing features. Users asking about Rogers’ business Internet at home reported they could get it, but did not benefit from the Mobility backup service often included by Rogers’s small business plans. 

With residential Internet, some users report blocking ports 80, 443, and 25. For a business may cause issues if you are hosting your website or an application at home. I do not recommend hosting a website at home. These days, you have so many other better options. 

Choosing the Right Internet for Your Business

When selecting an internet connection for your business, it’s crucial to consider various factors to ensure optimal performance and cost-effectiveness.

Types of Internet Connections

1. Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) over Fibre-Optic

  • Advantages: Offers high reliability, security, speed, and scalability.
  • Best for: Large businesses needing robust and consistent connectivity.
  • Cost Consideration: This can be expensive and more suited for larger businesses.

2. Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

  • Advantages: Widely available, often more affordable than fiber-optic.
  • Best for: Small to medium businesses with moderate internet needs.
  • Cost Consideration: Generally more budget-friendly, with variable speed options.

3. Cable Internet

  • Advantages: Faster than DSL, widely available.
  • Best for: Businesses in areas without fiber-optic access, which need faster speeds than DSL.
  • Cost Consideration: Typically, mid-range pricing is dependent on speed and provider. Read our article: Is cable internet a good choice for my business?

4. Fixed Wireless Internet

  • Advantages: Good option in rural or hard-to-reach areas.
  • Best for: Businesses outside urban centers without access to wired internet.
  • Cost Consideration: Can vary widely based on location and service level.

5. Satellite Internet

  • Advantages: Available virtually anywhere.
  • Best for: Remote businesses where no other broadband options exist.
  • Cost Consideration: Typically more expensive than DSL or cable, with data limits.

6. Broadband over Power Lines (BPL)

  • Advantages: Utilizes existing electrical infrastructure.
  • Best for: Areas where traditional broadband is unavailable or unreliable.
  • Cost Consideration: Can vary, but often a competitive option where available.

Each type of internet connection has its unique advantages and limitations. The choice depends on the specific requirements of your business, such as the size of your operation, the location, your budget constraints, and the level of internet usage and reliability your business demands. Careful consideration of these factors will guide you to the internet solution that best fits your business needs.

You might now ask, What type of Internet connection is best for businesses? The best Internet for business is Dedicated Internet Access over fiber-optic cable. This data transport medium is reliable, secure, fast, and can scale better than any other technology. 

The downside is the price. For a small business, you may not have the means to pay $400+/month for reliable connectivity. 

For the medium business, you have other options that may work also, but for a large business, it’s a no-brainer. 

For more information on different technologies your business can upgrade to, check out our article on “How to upgrade your business Internet

How much data does a small business need? 

When you talk about data, you’re talking about data transfer. How much data transfer does a small business need? 

For some basic math, here are some numbers to consider. 

Usage per EmployeeMonthly Data Needed
150 emails per day2 GB
4h Video calls per day40 GB
Streaming Video (2h/day total)120 GB

This is a highly simplified look at data usage. You may also have daily data backups, payment transactions, or customers accessing a server you host at the office. 

So many factors can affect your actual data usage, and the best way to understand it is with your data monitoring tool. 

Calculating Bandwidth Requirements

How many Mbps do I need for an office? Accurately assessing the required Mbps for your office is a crucial step in selecting the right internet plan.

The Mbps you need for an office differs from office to office, but with some calculations, you can get a general idea of the bandwidth requirements. 

We recommend the onering bandwidth calculator. Not only does it give you a good starting point for bandwidth needs calculations, but it also recommends a technology type that works for that speed. 

Remember that different technologies have pros and cons beyond just “speed.” Return to our “Technologies Explained” section once you narrow your search to the type of internet you should look at. This will help you understand the pros, cons, and questions to ask your providers before deciding.

Thanks for reading!

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Michael is the main author and Editor on the InternetAdvice blog. With a decade of experience under his belt, Michael stands at the forefront of the telecommunications industry. As a Senior Telecom Strategist, Michael has witnessed firsthand the rapid advancements in technology and has been an integral part of pioneering efforts in the adoption of cutting-edge telecom solutions across Canada.

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