Dedicated vs broadband – Which Is Better?

Almost all businesses heavily rely on the internet for accessing their VOIP, VPN, file sharing, email, cloud applications, and more. It’s essential that every business has reliable internet services to ensure optimal business performance and continuity. One would think that most businesses rely on WiFi, but that’s where you’re wrong. 

According to Swoop Broadband, two of the most popular network connections businesses use are dedicated internet access (DIA) or broadband. Broadband? Wasn’t that one of the first types of fast internet? Yes, it was. It may seem old, but with the new technologies constantly arising, broadband isn’t as it once was. 

Dedicated internet access is more beneficial than broadband because you will always have consistent upload and download speeds and don’t have to worry about network traffic slowing your work down. 

This may leave you questioning what the difference between dedicated internet access and broadband is. Is one better than the other? We’ll answer all of these questions for you in this article. 

Dedicated Internet Access vs Broadband

Understanding each one of these connection types can be helpful in ensuring the performance and reliability of your business. The complexities of the internet and how it connects everybody can seem confusing, but once you know the basics, it’s simple to understand. 

Dedicated Internet Access

A dedicated internet connection is a service that gives a computer a specific amount of bandwidth to use. It’s not shared with anyone else other than the user of that specific circuit. It’s different from broadband in that broadband allows everybody on that circuit to share the broadband. 

Being a dedicated connection, the performance of the network is always consistent and reliable. There are a couple of types of direct internet access types that include: 

  • Dedicated Fiber – EoF, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, Metro Ethernet
  • Ethernet over Copper – EoC
  • T1 – DS1
  • T3 – DS3
  • Dedicated Fixed Wireless

Each one of these locations has different availability for each internet service type. The type of connection needed depends on what the location can accommodate. Each circuit type id priced based on the level of bandwidth, speed, and contract length. The contract length can be 1, 2, or 3-year terms. So when you order a dedicated connection, the amount of bandwidth you receive is guaranteed. 

Broadband Internet Connection

A broadband connection is a shared network in that users in different areas share a larger connection. The amount of broadband offered is only up to the maximum available or package speed. So there’s really no guarantee as to what speed you will actually get or the quality of the connection.

The speed of broadband will be determined by the ISP’s network traffic and congestion, which can vary depending on the time of day and location. Many users find that their internet is quicker at night but sluggish during the day.

The speed will be unpredictable and performance varies, which can create issues with applications. The lack of predictable performance and reliability is a huge difference between dedicated internet access vs broadband services.


Some of the most common broadband internet connection types include: 


  • Shared Fiber
  • DSL
  • Cable
  • Wireless
  • Satellite

The issue with broadband is that you may get great download speeds, but upload speeds are terrible. Upload speed is what most businesses require in order to push data out to applications and users. Not only that, but the availability of the service can vary greatly based on the location, distance from network equipment, and available providers.   

Difference Between Dedicated Internet Access & Broadband

Since there are so many differences in performance and predictability of dedicated internet access and broadband, key contrasts in services arise. You should carefully consider what taste your business will be performing on a daily basis. 

Upload & Download Speeds

When it comes to dedicated vs broadband, the bandwidth you get with dedicated internet access is guaranteed. Download and upload speeds are always consistent symmetrical speeds. This allows all of your applications to run effortlessly and eliminates the chances of lagging and slowdowns that can ultimately affect all business operations.

Applications such as VOIP and video require consistent upload performance, which is why dedicated internet access is the choice for many businesses. There’s no reliability in broadband, so more people prefer DIA, especially if they have deadlines to complete. 

Better Throughput

We all do it. When our internet connection slows down, one of the first things we do is run a speed test. It will give us our upload and download speeds, but this isn’t the only factor in internet performance. Network latency is the speed at which data travels, so when you have lower latency, it means better performance.

Also, packet loss is another factor. This occurs when one or more packets of data traveling across a network don’t reach their destination. A low level of packet loss means fewer dropped connections. 

You could think of it as a highway onramp. The ISP’s network is the highway and the onramp is good bandwidth speed. If the onramp is clogged with traffic, the speed is slower. This is why dedicated internet connections are best because they address all of these issues with consistent performance. 

Quality of Service

Your internet speed is affected by packet loss, latency, network time, and jitter. Businesses want a guarantee that their applications are going to run at a high level. Dedicated internet access providers offer guarantees for all of these metrics in their Service Level Agreement(SLA).

If your dedicated internet connection doesn’t meet these standards, you are eligible for  SLA credits. This will provide you with monetary compensation for not following the guarantee that has been set. Broadband connections offer no performance guarantees. 

Ease of Troubleshooting

No matter what type of internet connection you have, there’s always going to be an issue and outages that can occur. With dedicated internet vs broadband, there are set response times that address issues, they may also be called MTTR or “mean time to repair”. The SLA contract outlines the resolutions of problems. 

The average MTTR for a dedicated internet connection issue is 4 hours or less. With broadband, the response time can last hours to days with no timeframe guarantee. This type of delay can destroy a business, even with failover connectivity in place. 


Cost is where broadband beats dedicate internet connectivity. Since there is a lower fixed monthly cost over the contract term, it seems like the better choice. However, you get what you pay for, right? With lower cost comes lower levels of performance, reliability, and support. Shared internet connections are best for homes or small offices but are more of a liability for larger businesses that rely on internet connectivity performance. 

The Takeaway

It seems that the best option is always dedicated internet access for your business solutions. Broadband is great for home use or even very small businesses but is more of a liability for large businesses and corporations.

You should carefully consider the size of your business, requirements for applications, performance, upload and download speeds, as well as uptime.

You should also think about what would happen if there was an extended outage and if employees would still be able to work. These are all important issues that you should think about when deciding on dedicated internet access vs broadband internet connections to support your business.