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What Is Dedicated Internet Access?

Nov 7, 2023

High-speed, reliable internet is no longer a luxury for modern businesses – it’s a necessity. As we become more dependent on cloud computing, VoIP, and other bandwidth-intensive applications, shared internet services don’t cut it anymore. That’s why more business leaders are ditching their shared connections for dedicated internet access (DIA).

The global DIA market is projected to grow by over 12% annually through 2028.1 But what exactly is DIA, and why is it better for organizations than standard broadband connections? In this blog, we’ll look at the pros and cons of dedicated internet access and its specific uses to help you determine if it’s time to upgrade your business internet services.

What Are Common Internet Access Types?

There are two main types of internet access for companies to choose from: shared and dedicated. Shared connections come in many different forms, however. The most commonly used options for business customers are:

Shared Internet Access

Shared internet means more than one business uses the same internet connection, and bandwidth is shared among concurrent users. It’s typically delivered as:

  • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) – DSL uses telephone lines to transmit data. It’s an accessible, cost-effective option but also slower than many other types of connectivity.
  • Business-Class Cable – Cable internet uses the same coaxial cables that deliver cable TV service. It’s widely available and typically faster than DSL.
  • Fiber Optic Internet – Fiber-based internet transmits data as light through flexible glass fibers. It’s less accessible than DSL and cable but very fast and offers reliable, consistent performance.

Dedicated Internet Access (DIA)

A dedicated internet access connection provides organizations with a direct fiber or Ethernet line to the internet service provider. Unlike shared connections, DIA offers guaranteed bandwidth backed by a service level agreement (SLA), making it more reliable and faster than many shared access alternatives.

dedicated internet access

Dedicated vs. Shared Connections: Compared

Dedicated and shared connections both offer unique advantages and disadvantages. Some key differences between these options include:

Dedicated Internet Access Features

Since DIA connections provide exclusive access to a certain amount of bandwidth, businesses can enjoy consistent performance and speeds, even during peak usage times. The basic characteristics of dedicated internet are:

  • Bandwidth – With DIA, you receive dedicated bandwidth 24/7, so there’s no competing with other customers for speed.
  • Speed – Along with consistently high speeds, DIA offers symmetrical upload and download speeds – a must for video conferencing and transferring large files.
  • Reliability – Count on DIA for an uninterrupted connection, especially with a service level agreement providing guaranteed uptime of 99.99% or better.
  • Performance – Dedicated connections offer very low latency, which provides a better user experience for real-time business applications like video conferencing and VoIP calls.
  • Security – With dedicated internet connectivity, your data travels over a private line rather than the public internet, making it more secure.
  • Cost – Dedicated connections are typically more expensive than shared internet options.
  • Availability – The availability of dedicated connections can vary depending on your location but is widely available for organizations in most areas.

Shared Internet Access Features

Shared connections are shared with other users, leading to slower speeds and network congestion during peak usage periods. The basic characteristics of shared internet are:

  • Bandwidth – Shared internet provides bandwidth up to a specified level, which is split among multiple subscribers.
  • Speed – With shared connections, internet traffic speeds can fluctuate and slow down when more subscribers are online.
  • Reliability – Carriers offer “best-effort” connectivity for shared services, meaning they’ll try their best to keep the connection available.
  • Performance – Shared connections have higher latency due to bandwidth constraints, which can negatively impact the performance of your real-time and cloud applications.
  • Security – With a shared connection, your data travels over the open internet, so it’s more susceptible to cyber attacks than a DIA circuit.
  • Cost – Shared connections are typically more affordable, making them attractive for small businesses or startups.
  • Availability – Shared connections are widely available, but some rural locations may lack the telecommunication and cable infrastructure to support these services.

What Are the Top Benefits of Dedicated Internet Access?

Some of the biggest benefits companies see after switching to dedicated internet access include:

Guaranteed Bandwidth

With a dedicated connection, you don’t share bandwidth with neighbors like you do with cable connections. This means consistently fast speeds around the clock, without slowdowns during peak hours.

More Security

Cyber attacks increased by 38% globally in 2022.2 Since dedicated connections don’t send data over the public internet, they provide a direct, private connection between your office and your ISP, giving your network traffic stronger security against cyber threats.

Fast Speeds

Dedicated internet connections offer high-speed internet and symmetrical upload and download speeds, meaning you get fast speeds both ways. This symmetry is particularly important for businesses that need fast data transfer in both directions.

Fewer Disruptions

Dedicated internet providers typically offer service level agreements guaranteeing a certain amount of uptime, so you can be confident your internet connection will be available when you need it.

Greater Scalability

Dedicated internet allows you to easily scale your bandwidth as your business grows. You can upgrade to faster speeds and higher data allowances as needed, with minimal disruption and without switching to a new provider.

Customer Support

Dedicated internet connections usually come with professional installation, maintenance, and ongoing customer support to ensure any service problems you experience are resolved quickly.

dedicated internet access

When Should Businesses Choose Dedicated Internet Access?

While dedicated connections can offer most businesses plenty of benefits, some may struggle with the high price tag. To determine if DIA is right for your company, you’ll need to consider how much a bad internet connection can cost your business operations – and whether the peace of mind offered by dedicated connections outweighs those costs.

Here are a few signs that it may be time to upgrade to DIA:

You Depend on Video Calls

From Zoom meetings to chatting with remote users, video tools can keep your workforce connected. But high-quality video requires symmetrical, low-latency internet. Dedicated access delivers consistent performance for improved collaboration via video.

You Leverage Cloud Services

An estimated 95% of workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms by 2025.3 A dedicated connection ensures you have the bandwidth necessary for optimal performance if your business depends on services like Office 365, Salesforce, or other cloud-based applications for critical tasks.

You Transfer Large Files Frequently

If your staff needs to send and receive large data files regularly, those transfers will slow to a crawl on lower-grade shared connections. Dedicated connections provide consistently fast speeds for large uploads and downloads.

You Handle Sensitive Data

Dedicated connections keep your data on a private circuit rather than traveling over the public internet, so you can rest easier when transferring sensitive information.

Your Business Is Growing Quickly

Dedicated internet scales seamlessly as your business grows, as you can upgrade bandwidth capacities as needed. Shared connections often can’t scale efficiently to meet growing bandwidth demands.

dedicated internet access

Support Your Dedicated Internet Access Solution With Help From Granite

As your organization grows and adopts more advanced technologies, dedicated internet access might be worth considering. However, trying to find a DIA solution that works best for your unique needs can be overwhelming when you have so many options to choose from.

With Granite’s IT services, VoiP phone system solutions, and carrier services. Our connectivity experts can provide transparent, unbiased guidance on the best DIA solutions to meet your current infrastructure, bandwidth needs, and budget. We’ll eliminate the hassle of sourcing a right-fit solution on your own by comparing prices, dealing with providers, and ensuring the implementation goes smoothly – so you can rest easy knowing your new dedicated internet access solution is set up for success.

Still not sure if DIA is right for your business? Reach out to Granite today for expert help finding the ideal connectivity solution to reach your business goals.


  1. https://www.marketgrowthreports.com/global-dedicated-internet-access-market-20112326
  2. https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/98810-global-cyberattacks-increased-38-in-2022
  3. https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2021-11-10-gartner-says-cloud-will-be-the-centerpiece-of-new-digital-experiences

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