Frustrating Broadband? Don’t let it deter you from growing your business online
The three biggest topics of conversation in these strange pandemic times are
1. The pandemic,
2. The good weather
3. The increasing unreliability of the internet and phone connections.
There is hope for all three. Number 1. Will eventually come to an end. Number 2. We hope will not come to an end, but experience and history indicates that it will. And as for number 3? The answer it that one is anyone’s guess.
Despite The Irish Government’s National Broadband strategy, the promises of many providers and Elon Musk’s dream of free internet from the sky, it would seem that some broadband users will never enjoy workable connectivity. Some of us may be destined to an internet life spent constantly fiddling with connections, changing providers and climbing on the window sill in the hope of a better signal. However, a bad internet connection, should not stop you from growing your business online, particularly if you are operating from a rural setting.
As everyone in the entire country tries to buy online, contact each other remotely and stream their Netflix fix, we have seen a significant drop in data speeds and connectivity. Sometimes this has resulted in absolute outages and the subsequent outrages! Virgin Media were one provider to experience the embarrassment and ire of complete ‘dead air’ for a significant time in the last few weeks. Operators say that call and data volumes have risen by as much as 50pc since the start of the Covid-19 crisis as the country tries to do business online. But the disparity in connectivity has always been there. The rural/ urban divide of good internet access.
Good broadband is only obtainable in certain geographical areas. Many users have been glitching in and out of Zoom and Skype meetings since long before the system became overloaded with home schoolers and waving Grannies. This was well documented in the run up to the controversial National Broadband Strategy. A quick look at the NBI (National Broadband Ireland) map reveals that, although improvements will happen for many with the completed 3 billion euro, there will still be some ‘black spots’ down leafy lanes and wild valleys that won’t be able to connect. It should not deter you.
It is important to remember that even if your place of business is hampered by an intermittent or unreliable internet connection, your potential customers and your current clients may not have the same issues. They are still searching online for services, buying items online and generally enjoying a service that is driving you nuts! It is vital that, despite connectivity issues, you still have a fresh, updated and easily accessible website that is well promoted online. It might seem as if you are not competing on a level playing field, but for visitors to your site, your connectivity is a mystery. Once you can access orders and messages at some point in the day, you can grow your online business. It may take more effort, but it’s better than being left behind. There are some things which are listed below, that you can do to improve the internet quality.
A good internet connection feels normal and is taken for granted. A bad one is a real nuisance. If yours is not great, there are things you can do. For example, don’t expect good connection while the kids are streaming games and films. When your broadband is slow, it’s all too easy to assume the fault lies with your provider. But that’s not always the case. Test you speed here. It is one of the most frustrating things about home office working, but even this can be tackled, by downloading large files during the night and working on them offline. There are things that you can do to improve connectivity, speed and signal. Check these options.
It’s not all doom and gloom as many patchy areas of coverage will be brought into the fold by the National Broadband strategy and work has not ceased since the onset of the Covid-19 crisis. The continuation of the grand plan for improve internet access has been deemed as ‘essential work’ and continues unabated during lockdown. You can check if you are being brought into the twenty first century here.
In the meantime, if you want to access the amazing Local Enterprise Grants, check here and should you wish to start a conversation on improving that website, feel free to call us at Dmac Media.