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Question:

Can the dedicated nature of the ethernet service makeup for it's lower nominal link speed? If so, how significantly?

Specifically, I'm comparing 150/20 Mbps w/ phone service from a cable company with a slightly more expensive 10/10 Mbps w/ phone service from a B2B business ethernet company.

Our primary usages, in order of importance, are:

  1. A web app used to manage all customer data (tons of small AJAX requests)
  2. Up to two HD video streams (YouTube or Netflix) for business use. (Entertaining children, and Digital Signage)
  3. Online backup (almost-real-time file share backups, nightly server backup)
  4. Customer and off-the-clock-staff web access (≤40 users browsing the internet, several using streaming video services.)
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    if those are two simultaneous 1080p HDTV streams, it's game-over for anything less than 15Mbps downstream. When I watch 1080p Netflix video, I routinely see 5Mbps down, with peaks around 7 to 8Mpbs. A link to a video bandwidth calculator, in case it's useful. Given that you're adding staff who also may stream video, why are you even considering a symmetric 10M service at all? Aug 31 '14 at 8:57
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Assuming the providers actually deliver what they advertise (A very big assumption), then no, the cable service would provide higher bandwidth for your apps.

The question to ask each of these providers is what service level agreements they offer, and what escalation procedures they have when your service is degraded. It may be the case that the slower ethernet service has a higher guaranteed uptime than the cable service. Then it's a matter of deciding what the reliability value is to your business.

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  • Thanks Ron! The ethernet provider does offer a higher uptime guarantee (including their on-premise equipment) for both internet and voice, but we can achieve that for less using a 4G modem as a redundant WAN and voice connection. Aug 31 '14 at 20:53

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