10 meg for a deli

In one of our planning efforts in a small city of 75,000, I met with a deli/restaurant owner about his broadband needs. He currently has a 3 meg connection and four phone lines, and he complained bitterly about the lack of broadband options and the slow speed. He processes all his credit card transactions over his Internet connection (less expensive than maintaining a separate phone line, and faster). His credit card processing company will not let him use cable modem service because of security problems, and although I did not ask him about wireless, I suspect that would not be allowed either for the same reason.

He said his current 3 meg connection causes delays of several seconds when processing credit cards, and that at lunch time, adding ten to twelve seconds to every sandwich order slows things down and irritates customers. He thought that a 5 meg connection would be an improvement, but would really prefer to have a 10 meg connection. Why? In part because he owns several stores, and he has IP-based surveillance cameras in each store. When he is home at night and on weekends, he can monitor his stores in real time for problems. He said the higher capacity connection would enable him to push higher quality video--he could feel in more control.

So this is a perfect example of a small bricks and mortar store with state of the art technology that is driving the business--without the credit card transactions, he would lose business, and long lines because of slow transaction processing affects his business today. Broadband is not a luxury for big businesses and "high tech" firms--every business today is high tech, including the neighborhood deli.

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