Some of those companies are mom-and-pop operations; a lot more of them are branch offices or business units geographically separated from the main company, getting broadband rated at up to 20Mbit/sec for download from Comcast – and potentially higher from Verizon FiOS.
Real speeds max out at about 16Mbit/sec, according to Akamai.
As the speed of cable and fiber access to consumers has risen, so has the number of businesses relying on it for their Internet connections.
Because Comcast and other ISPs can currently choose to throttle traffic they consider detrimental to their networks, those business customers could find their videoconferencing traffic, VoIP, bandwidth-intensive SAAS access and other cloud-based or Web 2.0 services throttled.
Half of all very small businesses still use DSL, for example, but are migrating toward cable and other connections, the SBA report shows. Half of rural companies and 37 percent of those in metro areas are dissatisfied with the speed of their connections.
The SBA report concluded that the lack of competition was making SMEs less competitive, less able to adapt to new business conditions and was costing them too much for the service they were getting.
In October, when the FCC was considering which of the net neutrality rule suggestions sent in by Verizon, Google and others would be the basis of its policy, the SBA asked that the FCC watch out for consumers and businesses by doing two radical things:
2. Do something about it.
Unfortunately, the FCC didn't do anything – not much, anyway.