In this post, I discuss the high-speed Internet services offered in my specific home-office location – Gulfport/Biloxi, Mississippi. – and the types of packages they offer. But, in future posts to this series, I would like to keep this discussion open and plan to follow-up with considerations of whether to buy a residential or business Internet package – or both – and which speeds are appropriate for a home office. The appropriate Internet speeds for your home office will depend on the purpose for which you will you use the Internet. Stay tuned for these follow-up discussions.
Over the next few weeks, I am preparing to transition from an office to a home office. As part of my preparation, I have been thinking more and more about what I will have in my home office that will allow me to function with the same ease and efficiency that I have in my regular office now.
One of the most important things for me to do is to find the right Internet service. A typical day in my office now involves heavy use of the telephone, email, and Internet. Once I transition to a home-office, my emails will most likely only be retrievable remotely via the Internet, as opposed to an internal network, the way I currently use email. Therefore, it is imperative that I obtain the right Internet service for my home office.
An initial search of Internet service providers in the Gulfport/Biloxi, Mississippi area shows AT&T, Cable One, HughesNet (satellite Internet), and Wild Blue (satellite Internet). Although Comcast offers service in Mississippi, it does not serve the Gulfport/Biloxi market.
AT&T offers residential high-speed Internet with speeds up to 3.0 Mbps downstream and 384 Kbps upstream.
Cable One offers residential speeds of up to 3 Mbps downstream and 300 Kbps upstream. For business, Cable One offers a Small Office/Home Office package with much faster speeds of up to 8 Mbps downstream and up to 1 Mbps upstream.
HughesNet offers home & office plans at speeds between 1 Mbps-3 Mbps downstream and between 128 Kbps-300 Kbps upstream.
WildBlue has much slower speeds than HughesNet. They offer speeds of between 512 Kbps-1.5 Mbps downstream and 138 Kbps-256 Kbps.
At first glance, it appears that Cable One will be the most promising provider as far as speed and packages appropriate for a home office. They did not offer pricing online, however, so I will need to contact their offices to determine whether their service will be within budget for home office Internet service.
I will need to determine what is an appropriate speed for my home office. I will use Internet for email, general online research, web-accessed seminars, and uploading large documents to our FTP site. It may be that 1-3 Mbps downstream and 384 Kbps upstream will be sufficient.
At any rate, once the appropriate Internet speed is determined for your home office, there may be other factors that make the Internet connection patchy or unreliable that can not be identified until the home office is in use. Some of these issues may need to be dealt with on a per-occurrence basis are not always based on the particular Internet service.
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