Internet Access Options
Voice and data connectivity is a must for every teleworker and remote access user. As the popularity and usage of Local Area Networks (LANs) has increased, users have become more dependent on these systems. When they are travelling away from their central location, working from a branch office, or working from home, the need to remotely access the company network becomes key.
The dial up telephone networks or the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is familiar to most users. It is the basic form of voice and data communication used by teleworkers around the world. It is still the most popular way to connect to the Internet and to remote access systems even though its connection speeds are limited in 56kbps in ideal conditions. This is usually insufficient for many remote access applications and is soon becoming a bottleneck for even basic Internet usage.
Integrated Services Digital Netwkork (ISDN) standards were ratified in the 1990s and by the mid 1990s ISDN service had started to become prevalent in some parts of the world. But overall it had a lackluster beginning with no real 'killer app' to run. It therefore caught the ire of many potential users and managers who often termed the ISDN abbreviation as "I Still Don't Know". The main thing that held back an increased usage of ISDN was a non-uniform roll out across the world, low demand, high costs, and being leap frogged by newer (faster and cheaper) access technologies that could use more of the existing infrastructure.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and Cable broadband access revolutionized the data communications and teleworking landscape in the late 1990s. These services are often available at a lower cost than ISDN, provide higher transfer speeds than dial up modems, do not require a second phone line and are being installed at a lightning fast pace not only in North America but around the world. This latest boon to telecommuting is sure to increase the lure for people to work from home.
The future connectivity in this world is often envisioned without any cables or location restrictions. Wireless highspeed access to data networks is soon becoming a reality with many companies looking to leverage their existing cellular and satellite networks to provide customers with high speed internet access. As these technologies evolve, they will enable teleworkers to remotely access information at much higher speeds and with less difficulty whether it be at home or while travelling
As these technologies evolve, teleworkers must still make decisions on how to proceed with their current plans. It is very possible that any of the connection technologies talked about here would fit perfectly with your needs and budget. It is therefore essential to go over all of them, compare the features, prices and drawbacks before making a decision. It is very likely that you will be changing this decision in the near future as technology provides us with cheaper, faster and more efficient ways to access information.