How much bandwidth might my business need?

Nathalie Davis October 21, 2011
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I need to choose a satellite broadband package in order to work from a rural location where broadband is very slow through all network providers using telephone lines. I am going to need very fast internet as I will be running an e-commerce business from this location. How do I find out what the average monthly usage of a typical e-commerce company is? Satellite Broadband is not available with unlimited monthly usage so I need to know roughly how much I will go through each month.

    October 22, 2011 at 6:10 am

    Hello, only thing I can suggest is for you to get a plan you feel comfortable with and see how it goes.  You are the only one that knows how busy your business is and the amount of transactions that you do in a given month.  If this is a new business, it will be a trial by error sort of thing.  If it is a business you have had for some time, you can average the amount of bandwith needed for your business in a month to month basis and start there. 

  2. Mike
    October 22, 2011 at 2:07 am

    What is a "typical" e-commerce company? You ask one guy it's a 10 head large office exchanging emails with ~150 customers, you ask another one it's a 25 head company corresponding with 500 customers...

    You can't expect us to give you any numbers on this question. There is no way for us predicting what your traffic use will be.
    That is something you have to figure out yourself depending on your expected customers and [obviously] what you are actually going to do via the internet connection e.g. sending PDF quotes etc.

    One thing you have to be aware of are the weaknesses of satellite internet. In layman terms you either have a very high latency (delay of 600-1000ms) or a very slow connection (similar to ISDN 64kbit). Both are nowhere near optimal for business application.

    It should also be a no-brainer figuring out that you won't make any money if you try to host an actual e-commerce system via this connection. You will definitely want to get some VPS or cloud hosting service for that.

    I can't say what broadband via analog or digital line will be at your place but I do believe you are far better of getting either a 6-8 wire broadband line or maybe two 4-wire broadband lines and run load balancing.

    • Nathalie
      October 22, 2011 at 9:30 am

      Are there companies / individuals that would be able to assist me setting up a 6-8 wire / 2 x 4 wire lines?  I dont mean BT etc.  We are seriously out in the sticks and I have to try and set up a fast internet with no lag times but our closest exchange is 4.8 miles away and our current speed on the home line with a BT hub modem is around 1mbps - terrible.  I am not an internet buff at all - Mike, you dont happen to be in Kent do you?  Want a job helping me set ourselves up?

      • Mike
        October 22, 2011 at 1:35 pm

        Setting up a multiple-wire connection has to be done by the Internet Service Provider.

        Assuming the technology used in your area is DSL a basic line would be setup using one pair (2 wires ~ one for outgoing data, one for incoming data). To increase the speed the ISP would have to connect two additional wires at the DSLAM and at your endpoint.

        Obviously this also requires a modem capable to handle this type of setup.

        If one pair manages 1Mbit over the distance, two pairs will obviously double it to 2Mbit and so on... with the maximum setup of 4 pairs (8 wires) you could get as much as 4Mbit ~ maybe more, because sometimes a different pair can get a better connection.

        Speed-wise this should be fine for an office of  10-15 Users including a mail server - as long as the line isn't used for up- or downloading large stuff or watching YouTube all day long.

        At the end it all depends on the flexibility and terms of your service provider.

        In my area the service description of business internet access mostly covers this type of setup in order to meet advertised speeds - free of charge.

        For a private/home line on the other hand this would be treated as a secondary internet line meaning you would be charged for the additional internet service over 1 pair, the modem required and the setup fee.