DIA stands for Dedicated Internet Access. It is fully dedicated bandwidth that is not shared and the speed does not vary. It is an internet connection that is totally dedicated to a specific location or business.
In today’s digital-first world, internet connectivity is fundamental to operating a business. Everything is online, in the cloud, and digitized. Employee productivity is dependent upon a fast, secure, and reliable connection to all the cloud tools and applications that businesses use today. A network infrastructure that includes dedicated internet access will deliver consistent throughput and bandwidth, maximizing business operations, and minimizing slowdowns.
Businesses today can’t afford to let networking limitations constrain their success and throttle employee output. In fact, cloud applications and platforms require companies to have a dedicated internet access circuit instead of shared residential broadband dressed up for business applications. While dedicated internet connectivity can cost more than shared connectivity options, you can think of a DIA connection as your own private “highway” to the internet. No bottlenecks or metering lights, just a constant and steady stream of traffic in both directions that belongs exclusively to your business. With a shared connection, the contracted bandwidth is typically the maximum speed you will ever receive, and the actual speed is often unpredictable and fluctuates based on the provider’s overall network traffic. It’s difficult to scale the growth and success of a business with an inconsistent connection to your apps, partners, and customers.
Dedicated internet access solutions are typically guaranteed with a service level agreement or SLAs. These SLAs establish service level minimums for items like latency and network availability which is usually measured between 99.9% (three nines) and 99.99% (four nines). Internet connectivity SLAs are increasingly important with the explosion of real-time applications like cloud voice or VoIP, video conferencing, and remote working. The best DIA providers will also include packet loss, latency, and jitter in their service level agreement — not all service level agreements are created equal.
Dedicated internet access (DIA) is symmetrical as well. This means that the upload and download speed/bandwidth will be equal, or the same. Non-DIA connectivity solutions typically offer a higher download speed than the upload speed, the connection is asymmetric. When you contract a 100 Mbps DIA connection for example, you can expect to have 100 Mbps up and down. If you have an asymmetrical connection, your contract for 100 Mbps might give you 100 Mbps down, but only 10 Mbps up. This is a problem with so many applications in the cloud, a fast upload speed is critical for a productive workforce.