New Zealand has some of the fastest broadband in the world, as indicated by a 2019 study. And with the country-wide rollout of Ultra Fast Broadband, it’s becoming more and more accessible. In fact, over half of New Zealand businesses already used fibre broadband connections in 2018 (Stats NZ).
Yet Stats NZ also reports that 28% of businesses with fewer than 20 employees still have no plans to upgrade to fibre. For many, it may soon no longer be a choice, due to a potential future move to decommission the copper lines that ADSL and VDSL broadband run on in areas where fibre is available.
For those businesses not already on fibre or those without plans to switch – this possible change isn’t necessarily a bad thing! Fibre offers many business-specific benefits over copper services, so now is the time to consider making the move.
What’s the difference between fibre and copper?
Fibre optic cables are made out of very thin, lightweight strands of transparent materials (typically glass or plastic), while metal copper lines are heavier and thicker. Copper is generally more prone to damage than fibre and can be susceptible to weather conditions (such as large amounts of rain or high temperatures), whereas fibre is unaffected and harder to damage.
Fibre broadband speeds are significantly higher than those of ADSL or VDSL, which run on copper. Since fibre transmits data as light, information is sent much faster via fibre optic cables than it is through copper, which transmits it as electricity.
In addition to higher speeds, fibre also provides greater bandwidth, which is the amount of data transfer per second. This means that those using fibre can transmit much higher amounts of data at once without their connection slowing, whereas copper speeds can drop during times of high usage.
While all data signals degrade over distance, fibre is significantly more durable and reliable than copper. Over distances greater than 100m, fibre loses only 3% of its signal, whereas copper loses 94%.
Business benefits of fibre
Since so many businesses rely heavily on the internet, the advantages of fibre translate to a wide range of professional benefits. Here are just a few:
Greater productivity and efficiency
The better your internet works, the better your employees work. Higher speeds and bandwidth mean employees are less likely to spend time waiting on a lagging internet connection to get on with their work. Video conferences will have high-quality streaming without annoying buffering. Speeds won’t slow down across the company at peak times or if one department’s usage is higher than normal - say, if your graphics team is uploading a particularly large file.
Since so much business is done using the internet, the reality is that if your connection goes down, business often goes with it. Employees can be left twiddling their thumbs waiting to get back online or sales can go down along with your EFTPOS machine. Since fibre is unaffected by inclement weather and more resistant to damage than copper wires, fibre networks are much more reliable and experience less downtime.
The capacity and speeds of fibre allow business to harness the internet for VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services. Compared with traditional copper phone lines, VoIp offers much greater capacity for calls, superior quality and clarity, and smart features. It also offers the ability to quickly and easily redirect calls to mobile phones, which is useful should employees want to continue receiving calls away from their desk or if the internet is down for any reason, such as during a power outage.
You know the drill: time is money. Lost time means lost revenue. Businesses lose money when employees are unproductive or inefficient due to slow or disrupted internet; tasks don’t get completed or sales don’t get made. Fast, reliable internet means less downtime, keeping employees on task and reducing avoidable monetary loss.
Faster speeds allow companies to take full advantage of cloud-hosted software across the business, saving on maintenance costs and allowing for scalability. Since fibre has fewer latency issues than copper, employees won’t face delays when accessing cloud-based storage or applications. This allows for better, real-time collaboration using more cloud-based apps.
If you’ve got questions about fibre or you’re not sure where to start, check out our business broadband plans or get in touch with the team on 0800 4 SPEED (0800 477 333). We’ve got solutions for companies of all sizes, and our friendly Voyagers will be happy to help you make the most of your broadband.