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Do SMBs Need More Fiber Connections?

Good news/bad news. The good news is a growing number of companies now are able to connect to telecommunications service provider via fiber optic lines. However, the bad news is the carriers have focused on meeting the needs of large enterprises at the expense of small and medium businesses.Market research firm Vertical Systems Group found that fiber is now available to 22.9% of US businesses. In the last five years, telecommunications providers and cable companies have invested billions of dollars upgrading their networks and as a result doubled fibers reach. However, the carriers have concentrated first on running these lines out to their largest customers, so many small and medium businesses may find that fiber is not available to them.

This disparity could put SMBs at a significant competitive advantage, and the economic slowdown could lessen carriers desire to invest in such services. With computers becoming more powerful and corporations relying more on information to function, companies need high bandwidth connections. In a growing number of cases, businesses require as much as 1 G bps of bandwidth to support their operations. Without such connections, companies may not be able to deliver their services to customers or provide adequate response time to employees. As a result, a carrier may decide to develop a business model based on delivering fiber to small and medium businesses. Unless that happens, these companies may have trouble competing against large, well-heeled enterprises.