Monday, July 13, 2009

The broadband water for your business

They say, a person can live just a few days without water. How long will our business live without broadband Internet service? Today, I found out: not long. AT&T DSL had an area outage, and we were without Internet for three hours. No email. No web access. Not even a phone service: we have VoIP.

The business stops dead in its tracks, without Internet access. I spent two hours on my cell phone calling AT&T technical support. I even spoke to the Tier 2 Tech Support people (gasp!). They are notoriously great yet usually impossible to get to, thanks to the lovely AT&T hold music. They all suspected that the problem was on my side. Three hours later, the service is back on, and I find out that it was an area-wide outage. Knowing that three hours earlier would have been helpful - but thanks anyway, AT&T.

If I wasn't too motivated to order a backup broadband service before, I sure was now. Time to call my old friends at LaunchNet, Inc., who installed and serviced two broadband connections for us in the past, and did it quicker and less expensively than their major telecom siblings.

AT&T's best "business DSL" offer for our location is a 6Mbs/768Kbs service with 8 static IPs, for $70 a month plus taxes and fees. LaunchNet offers the same for $59.95 a month, with a choice of two DSL modems. One is a "bridge" that has very little IQ to it, and simply acts as an adapter between the DSL service and your existing router. The other choice is Zoom X6 DSL modem and wireless router, with many more configuration, diagnostics and monitoring features, and this is the one I ordered.

In short, over the two years that we have been using LaunchNet as our broadband service provider, it proved to do the same as primary telecoms like AT&T, Covad and Verizon, only for less money and with much, much better customer service.

If broadband to your business is like water to a human being, it makes sense to have a reliable supplier. For us, it's LaunchNet:

Unless, of course, AT&T hold music tickles you pink. :)

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