Don’t be confused by your ISP. Not all bandwidth is created equal, especially as more and more real-time communications move to an over-the-top model utilizing the public Internet.

It’s important to understand the difference between Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) and traditional best-efforts services. For many companies, the typical high-speUnderstanding DIAed Internet connection offered by service providers is on a best-efforts basis using bandwidth that is shared across many different customers. It is often sold and marketed according to the max download speed (say, 30,50 or 100 Mbps) even though actual download speeds can vary greatly depending on how many other people are using the shared bandwidth at any particular point in time. So that 30 Mbps connection you think you have might actually be just a few Mbps when you need it because of some factor beyond your control.

Moreover, upload speeds are often just a fraction of download speeds. This complicates matters when it comes to things like cloud-based telephony and conferencing in which case both upload and download speeds are critical.

Enter DIA.

As an alternative to traditional broadband, DIA provides symmetrical connectivity for businesses that need high-bandwidth upload capability. DIA offers continuous, protected connectivity between your LAN and the Internet. Most ISPs deliver SLA-based (guaranteed bandwidth) DIA services across networks that are largely distinct from their primary public Internet offering.

The needs of every company are different, but if you are using your Internet for real-time communications like voice or video conferencing in addition to non-real-time applications like CRM, email and data storage—DIA might be for you.