Christian M. 6 min read

Scalability for business broadband

Maintaining a scalable and reliable broadband connection is crucial in today’s fast-paced business environment.

As businesses grow, so do their internet needs, with 81% of companies experiencing increased bandwidth demand due to cloud computing and remote work.

This article explores the strategies you need to follow to ensure your broadband can seamlessly adapt to your business’s changing needs.

Whether you’re expanding your team, adopting new technologies, or planning for peak times, understanding these factors will help keep your operations running smoothly and efficiently.

💡 Key takeaways:

  • Plan for scalability: Implementing scalable broadband solutions, such as full-fibre, from the get-go, will save you time and money in the long run.
  • Ensure redundancy and security: Establishing backup connections and load balancing, and constantly enhancing your security will make the scaling process sustainable.
  • Monitor performance: Regularly monitor network performance and adjust broadband and cloud-based plans based on usage data to maintain optimal performance and reliability.

What is business broadband “scalability”?

Business broadband “scalability” refers to the ability of a broadband internet service to grow and adapt to a business’s changing needs.

An illustrative example of this is an expanding company. As it grows, its internet usage typically increases due to more employees, additional devices, and greater reliance on cloud-based applications and services.

Scalable broadband solutions can accommodate this growth by offering flexible bandwidth options.

These options allow businesses to upgrade their internet speed and capacity without significant downtime or disruption, ensuring optimal performance and productivity as their requirements evolve.

💡 What is bandwidth? Bandwidth (synonymous with speed) is the maximum rate at which data can be transmitted over a network connection in a given amount of time, typically measured in bits per second (bps).

An example of an “unscalable” business broadband setup

A better way to illustrate this is to give an example of a broadband setup that scores poorly in “scalability.”

This would involve installing a fixed-line FTTC connection with a rigid, long-term contract and an expansive cancellation fee.

In this scenario, the broadband service is limited to a maximum speed that cannot be increased without changing the modem or router, laying out new coaxial or fibre-optic cables, or setting up an antenna dish for satellite broadband.

This setup is inflexible, as upgrading or downgrading certainly involves downtime from laying out new infrastructure and increased costs from new equipment, engineering work, and contractual penalties.

How does a business plan its future bandwidth requirements?

All successful businesses typically forecast their growth in multiple departments, such as sales, costs, revenue, profit, and IT requirements, among which is future bandwidth with changing business needs (contract or expansion).

This is typically taken care of by the IT department, which will follow the following steps:

Bandwidth scalability stepDescription
1. Assess current usageUse network monitoring tools to track current usage and identify peak times and high-bandwidth applications.
2. Evaluate current network infrastructureConduct a network audit, analyse performance, ensure redundancy, and plan for future scalability.
3. Estimate future growthForecast increases in employees, new technology adoption, and business expansion impacts on bandwidth.
4. Understand business needsIdentify critical operations relying on internet and ensure SLAs are met.
5. Plan for peak timesIdentify peak demand periods and ensure capacity for handling these times with scalable solutions.
6. Network security considerationsEvaluate firewalls, access controls, conduct vulnerability scans, and ensure compliance with security protocols.
7. Choose the right providerSelect a provider with flexible plans, easy upgrades, and future-proof technology like fibre optics or 5G.
8. Implement redundancySet up backup connections and use load balancing for continuous connectivity and optimal performance.
9. Quality of Service (QoS) and traffic managementImplement QoS to prioritise critical applications and manage network traffic efficiently.
10. Budgeting and cost analysisConsider cost implications of bandwidth increases and evaluate ROI against productivity gains and growth.
11. Regular review and adaptationContinuously monitor network performance, review bandwidth plans, and collect feedback for ongoing adjustments.

Each is delved into more detail here:

1. Assess current usage

Use network monitoring tools to track current internet usage. These tools can provide detailed insights into peak usage times, identify which applications consume the most bandwidth, and highlight any bottlenecks.

Understanding the current state of your network is crucial for making informed decisions about future needs. Regularly monitoring this usage ensures you have up-to-date information, allowing you to adjust your bandwidth requirements as necessary.

2. Evaluate current network infrastructure

Conduct a thorough network audit to inventory all hardware and software. Assess your network topology to identify inefficiencies or bottlenecks and analyse network performance by measuring bandwidth utilisation (including on-site website hosting or VPN servers), latency, and speed.

Check backup systems and failover mechanisms to ensure redundancy. This evaluation helps plan for future scalability and ensures your infrastructure can support anticipated growth.

3. Estimate future growth

Consider various growth factors to project the potential increase in bandwidth needs. These include the anticipated rise in employee numbers, the adoption of new technologies, and business expansion plans.

New technologies like IoT devices or more extensive use of cloud services can significantly increase bandwidth demands. Similarly, expanding into new locations or hiring additional staff will require more network capacity. By forecasting these changes, you can plan for upgrades promptly.

4. Understand business needs

Identify the critical operations within your business that rely heavily on internet connectivity. These could include customer service platforms, online sales systems, or remote work capabilities.

Ensure that your broadband service can meet the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) necessary for these operations. Downtime or slow internet speeds can directly impact productivity and customer satisfaction, so it’s vital to understand and plan for these needs.

5. Plan for peak times

Recognise that there will be periods when internet usage spikes, such as during product launches, sales events, or specific times of the day. Ensure that your broadband setup can handle these peak times without a drop in performance.

Scalable solutions, such as fibre-optic broadband connections, allow you to increase capacity during these critical periods. Planning for these peaks ensures that your business operations remain smooth and efficient.

6. Network security considerations

Evaluate your network security by assessing firewalls and access controls and conducting regular vulnerability scans. Implement cybersecurity essentials, and if possible, implement zero-trust network access.

Ensure cybersecurity compliance to protect against cybersecurity threats. Proper security measures help maintain the integrity and reliability of your network, safeguarding sensitive business data and operations.

7. Choose the right provider

Select a business broadband provider that offers flexible plans and easy upgrades. Providers that offer the latest technologies like leased line broadband and 5G private networks offer the best scalability.

Business broadband contract flexibility allows you to scale your bandwidth up or down based on your business’s needs without incurring excessive costs or downtime. Compare business broadband deals today.

8. Implement redundancy

Set up backup connections to ensure business continuity during internet outages or upgrades. Redundancy can involve having a secondary internet connection from a different provider or using different connections (e.g., fibre and wireless).

Load balancing can also distribute network traffic across multiple connections, ensuring optimal performance and reducing the risk of a single point of failure.

For a small business, redundancy can be as simple as using a hotspot from mobile devices, which is essentially the same as temporary 5G.

9. Quality of Service (QoS) and traffic management

Implement Quality of Service (QoS) protocols to prioritise critical applications and manage network traffic efficiently.

QoS ensures that important tasks receive the necessary bandwidth, improving network performance and reliability. Effective traffic management helps maintain consistent service levels, especially during peak usage.

Ensure you take into account any bandwidth throttling you may be subject to. This will be detailed on your provider’s Service Level Agreement (SLA).

10. Budgeting and cost analysis

Consider the cost and savings implications of increasing your bandwidth when budgeting. This includes:


  • Upgrade costs: This may involve a new business broadband router and engineering work if new cables are needed.
  • Termination fees: Some contracts include non-negotiable termination fees, especially if the upgrade involves switching providers.
  • Redundant connection: You may temporarily pay for two connections simultaneously when you only require one.


  • Improved productivity: Your employees may be able to work more efficiently if your connection is not hindering them.
  • Improved service: Providing a reliable, competitive service is key for digital industries. A slow website or e-commerce can hugely affect direct sales, returning customers and SEO.
  • Upgrade once: A well-planned upgrade will last a long time until a business needs to change again, saving time and effort.

A return on investment (ROI) analysis to weigh the benefits against the expenses is key to understanding these financial aspects and help make informed decisions that align with your business’s budget and growth plans.

11. Regular review and adaptation

Continuously monitor your network performance and broadband speed to ensure they meet your business needs. Review your bandwidth plans regularly based on actual usage data and adjust them as necessary.

Collect feedback from employees to identify any performance issues or areas for improvement. This proactive approach allows you to adapt to changing needs and maintain efficient and reliable internet connectivity.

Scalability of different business broadband connections

Here is a simple list of broadband connection types, demonstrating the scalability of each.

Broadband TypeDescriptionAprox bandwidth Range
Leased line broadbandDedicated, private connection for high-speed internet access.100 Mbps to 10 Gbps
Full fibre broadbandUses fibre-optic cables for extremely fast internet speeds.100 Mbps to 1 Gbps
5G broadbandUses the 5G cellular network to provide extremely fast internet speed but at higher latency100 Mbps to 1 Gbps
Cable broadbandUses coaxial cables for internet access.50 Mbps to 1 Gbps
FTTC broadband (Including G-Fast)Fibre to the cabinet with copper cables to the premises.30 Mbps to 300 Mbps
Satellite broadband (Including Starlink and OneWeb)Uses satellites for internet access in remote areas.10 Mbps to 150 Mbps

This will help you establish what technology is worth having now, considering your business’s potential growth.

For example, opting for full-fibre is great for a tech start-up renting an office space. Satellite or 5G can be used for redundancy to ensure your services always have a network to fall back on.

If this startup had the privilege of owning its offices, going for a leased line from the get-go would ensure it can scale virtually indefinitely.

On the other hand, a small corner shop with a few smart gadgets and a card reader can save by getting the cheapest ADSL deal available, which will suffice for their needs.

Business broadband scalability – FAQs

Our business broadband experts answer commonly asked questions on business broadband scalability in the UK.

How can we improve network scalability?

A business can improve its network scalability by using fibre-optic connections, implementing redundancy and load balancing, adopting cloud services, regularly monitoring and adjusting network performance, choosing flexible ISPs, and implementing Quality of Service (QoS) protocols.

See our section on bandwidth planning for business growth for a step-by-step guide.

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