Ten Tips for Choosing the Right Internet Service Provider

Ten Tips for Choosing the Right Internet Service Provider


Trying to run a business today without an efficient Internet connection would be as unthinkable as trying to operate a business without a telephone or electricity.

When the telephone doesn’t work properly, or when there is a power failure, it’s not only frustrating, it also has a negative effect on your productivity – as well as your customers.

Having an inefficient, unreliable Internet connection can be just as frustrating and productivity draining.

The problem in South Africa is that when it comes to electricity or landline telephone, businesses don’t have much choice. With Internet connectivity, however, you are spoiled for choice, both in terms of supplier and type of connection.

How do you choose the best Internet connection for your business?

Many business people start by considering the following factors in this order or priority: price; type of connection; and service provider.

At MWEB Business, we believe this should be reversed. While price is obviously important, price benefits can rapidly dissipate in the face of poor service and inadequate or unreliable performance.

A business’s connectivity needs are very different to those of an individual consumer. Your business’s Internet service provider should offer products and services that are tailored to a business’ requirements for connectivity that is consistently fast and reliable.

The first step therefore in choosing the right Internet connectivity for your business is to choose the right service provider.

How do you choose the right service provider?

Asking these ten questions may help:

  1. Do you offer a choice of connectivity options so that I can choose the one that is best for my business’ geographical location and budget?
  2. Do you provide 24/7/365 technical support?
  3. In the event of technology failure on my connection, can you provide a fail over option?
  4. Do your business customers get priority over other consumers in terms of network performance?
  5. Does the connection you offer come with static IP addresses so that I can host servers and deploy VPN connections?
  6. Will you notify me in the event of down time?
  7. Do you have a low contention ratio and limited number of users on the line at any one time?
  8. Can you offer me additional business services such as security, hosted servers, back-up, archiving, mail, voice (telephone), video conferencing, fax and general mobility services so that all my people can be connected to my business and remain productive from anywhere, all the time?
  9. Will I only have one point of contact for all my connectivity needs?
  10. How much of your infrastructure do you own and manage yourself?
Derek Hershaw
Derek Hershaw, CEO of MWEB ISP, joined in 1998 as general manager of the Dial Services Division. In 2003, he took over as general manager of Operations, managing the front and back office customer support environments and became CEO of MWEB ISP in December 2009. Before joining MWEB, Hershaw worked for Norwich Life for nine years, primarily in their Client Services Division. He holds a BCom (Honours) degree in Economics from Rhodes University.