Download Versus Upload
- Cloud services (see Module 4: Using the Cloud), where your previously in-house data and applications can now be delivered or held in another suburb, state or country.
- Social media and email, where you often send as much as you receive.
- File transfer applications that allow the transfer of files that are simply too big to be email attachments, e.g. a marketing video of your event, sound bites of your music, high-definition photos of your work, assessment results, etc.
Also, once you’re on line, your business will become a source of downloads for your clients (hence uploads for you). Small businesses should consider their upload needs and the expectations of their clients when choosing their broadband service. Providers still tend to focus on download speed, so you may need to prompt them for further details about the upload speeds they offer and whether uploads will count towards your monthly data allowance. Plan comparison websites (e.g. WhistleOut and CalculatorWeb) and service provider usage calculators (e.g. Optus’ and Vodafone’s) have tools or advice to help you in assessing your data needs.
Fixed broadband refers to broadband that is provided via fixed links into your premises (e.g. DSL, HFC cable and optical fibre). Fixed wireless and satellite connections, although not land-based, involve fixed infrastructure on your premises and hence still fall broadly into the fixed broadband category.
Mobile broadband allows fast mobile internet access via a portable or plug-in modem (often called a ‘dongle’) which contains a mobile transmitter/receiver.
Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) supply a USB or WiFi modem with their mobile broadband plans. Some laptops and tablet PCs have built-in support for mobile broadband, while others will be able to use a Bluetooth connection to your mobile phone to access the internet.
The mobile broadband option will be particularly appealing for businesses that provide on-site services to multiple clients, or in outdoor environments (e.g. camping or personal training).