Evaluating Dedicated (DIA) versus Shared Fiber Optic Business Internet

November 1, 2023

Dedicated Business Fiber Internet

Having reliable and high-quality internet connections is crucial for many modern individuals and enterprises. They make it possible for us to work, learn, have fun, and maintain relationships with friends and family.

Broadband fiber internet is the fastest and most reliable type of internet connection available. It uses fiber-optic cables to transmit data, which results in very fast speeds and low latency. Fiber-optic cables are made of thin strands of glass or plastic that can transmit light signals over long distances. Thus fiber-optic cables are less susceptible to interference from weather conditions and electrical signals. This means that fiber internet users are less likely to experience outages and slowdowns.

Fiber internet is ideal for homes and businesses with multiple users and devices. It can also be used for a variety of applications, such as streaming high-definition video, playing online games, and working from home.

When selecting an internet provider, there are many things to consider, such as speed, dependability, cost, and customer support. Commercial users should evaluate whether they require dedicated fiber internet access versus more affordable yet feature-limited shared fiber connections.

What is dedicated (DIA) fiber optic internet?

Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) fiber optic internet is a private connection between your business and the internet service provider's network. Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) is solely devoted to one user. DIA access is typically delivered via a fiber optic connection.

Dedicated fiber clients basically “own” their bandwidth and rarely, if ever, experience downtime. For a point of reference, Metro Wireless DIA clients are up and running 99.99% of the time.

Unlike shared internet connections, DIA connections are not shared with other businesses. This means that you have a dedicated bandwidth allocation that is not affected by the traffic of other businesses.

DIA fiber optic internet connections are typically very fast and reliable. They are ideal for businesses that need high-speed internet access for mission-critical applications, such as cloud computing, video conferencing, critical health care providers, creative agencies, e-commerce businesses and even small businesses of any type.

The pros of dedicated fiber internet access

Guaranteed bandwidth:

When you use DIA, a certain amount of bandwidth is allotted to you and your usage alone. This means that you will always be able to utilize your connection at its maximum speed, even during peak usage times.

Consistent performance:

Regardless of how many other organizations use the same Fiber optic network, Dedicated Fiber Internet Access offers consistent performance. This is because no one else has access to your connection.

Enhanced reliability:

Since DIA Fiber optic internet is unaffected by the activities of other organizations, it is more dependable than shared Fiber optic internet. This implies that outages and slowdowns are less likely to occur.

Enhanced security:

Since your connection is exclusive to you, Dedicated Fiber Internet Access offers increased security. This increases the difficulty with which hackers can enter your network.


As your company's needs expand, you can simply increase your bandwidth thanks to DIA Fiber optic's scalable design.

The cons of dedicated fiber internet access

DIA - Dedicated Fiber internet for businesses usually requires lengthy contracts ranging from three to five years, and is significantly more expensive than coax cable, LTE/5G, or fixed wireless internet.

While fixed-wireless and coax internet can be sold at asymmetrical speeds to save customers money, dedicated Fiber is usually, but not always, sold with symmetrical speeds.

Business fiber internet or Commercial fiber optic internet also typically requires long timelines to deploy due to lengthy construction; sometimes lasting more than a year for construction & installation.

What is shared business fiber internet?

Shared Business Fiber Internet
Shared Business Fiber Internet

As the name implies, shared business fiber optic internet is a connection that is shared among multiple users. Means more than one business is using the same internet connection. This indicates that the network's bandwidth is distributed among all of its users.

Shared fiber connection is made using coaxial copper cables or a passive fiber network. Shared Fiber optic internet can be slower and less dependable than DIA, it is usually less expensive.

The pros of shared fiber internet

Shared fiber relies on sharing a connection with other clients and customers in your neighborhood and geography. Similarly, it has high speeds and lower latency like dedicated fiber internet yet often costs a lot less than dedicated internet.

However it isn’t SLA-backed so it has lower reliability, and shared broadband fiber is also subject to congestion and throttling.

In many cases, performance doesn’t suffer on a shared connection, however during peak use times or under certain conditions, performance can degrade.

The cons of shared broadband fiber internet

Shared bandwidth: With shared fiber optic internet, you are sharing a pool of bandwidth with other businesses. This means that your connection speed may be affected during peak usage times.

Inconsistent performance: Shared fiber optic internet can experience inconsistent performance, depending on how many other businesses are using the same network.

Reduced reliability: Shared fiber optic internet is less reliable than DIA because it is more likely to be affected by outages or slowdowns.

Limited security: Shared fiber optic internet provides less security than DIA because your connection is shared with other businesses.

Limited scalability: Shared fiber optic internet is not as scalable as DIA. If you need to upgrade your bandwidth, you may need to switch to a dedicated plan.

Shared Broadband Business Fiber
Shared Broadband Business Fiber


The best type of business fiber optic internet access will depend on your specific needs and budget. If you have high internet usage requirements or need guaranteed bandwidth, DIA is the best option. If you have low to moderate internet usage requirements and are looking for a more affordable option, shared fiber optic internet may be adequate.

Alternatives beyond shared and dedicated fiber internet access

In today's digital age, a reliable and high-speed internet connection is essential for businesses of all sizes. Fiber optic internet is a popular choice for many businesses, offering fast speeds and low latency. However, shared and dedicated fiber are not the only options available.

Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)

FWA utilizes cellular technology to deliver high-speed internet access. This option is ideal for businesses in rural or remote areas where fiber optic infrastructure is not available. FWA can provide speeds of up to 1 Gbps, making it a viable alternative to fiber. Fixed-wireless internet access provides the benefits of a DIA connection but is vastly less expensive than a traditional dedicated fiber circuit.

Fixed-wireless internet is SLA-guaranteed for a 99.99% uptime for high reliability, and has ultra-low latency, often better than fiber.

Fixed wireless is dedicated internet, so it’s not subject to congestion or throttling issues.

5G and LTE Cellular

5G and LTE cellular networks can provide high-speed internet access to businesses. LTE / 5G internet can be installed much faster than coax or fiber internet, while being fast enough to support most user applications and video conferencing. This option is ideal for businesses that need a mobile internet solution. 5G and LTE cellular networks can provide speeds of up to 1 Gbps, making them a viable alternative to fiber.

DSL (digital subscriber line)

DSL internet is another option, but it is not as fast or reliable as fiber-optic or cable internet. DSL internet uses the same copper telephone lines that are used for traditional phone service to deliver internet service. DSL speeds are slower than fiber-optic or cable internet speeds, and they can be affected by the distance between your home and the DSL central office. However, DSL internet is widely available and relatively affordable.

Coax cable broadband

Coax cable broadband is a type of broadband internet that uses coaxial cables to deliver high-speed internet access. It also provides a cost-effective alternative, but isn’t SLA supported, so these connections are often at risk for frequent and prolonged outages. Additionally, coax cable broadband can provide speeds of up to 1 Gbps, which is sufficient for most internet users.


Widely available

Relatively affordable

Can provide speeds of up to 1 Gbps


Shared among multiple users

Can be susceptible to interference

Not as fast as some other types of broadband

Starlink Satellite Internet
Fixed Wireless Internet

Satellite Internet

Satellite internet uses satellites to transmit data between your home and the internet service provider's network. This option is ideal for businesses in remote areas where other internet access options are not available. Satellite internet can provide speeds of up to 100 Mbps, making it a viable alternative to fiber.

Satellite internet speeds are much slower than fiber-optic, cable, or DSL internet speeds, and they can be affected by weather conditions. However, satellite internet is available in all areas, even if there is no other type of internet connection available. Satellite internet is the least reliable and slowest type of internet connection.

Microwave Links

Microwave links use radio waves to transmit data between two points. This option is often used for businesses that need to connect multiple locations over long distances. Microwave links can provide speeds of up to 10 Gbps, making them a high-performance alternative to fiber.

Choosing the Right Alternative

The best alternative to shared and dedicated fiber will depend on the specific needs of your business. Factors to consider:

Is the internet service available in your area?

How fast of an internet connection do you need?

How much data usage do you need monthly or yearly?

How much are you willing to spend on internet service?

How important is reliability to your business?

Can the internet service scale to meet the needs of your growing business?

Once you have chosen the right alternative for your business internet connection go through these tips:

Check reviews for each internet connection and choose wisely.

Ask for recommendations from your colleagues or family members

If you are unsure which alternative is right for your business, you should consult with an internet service provider. They can help you assess your needs and recommend the best option for you.

Make the Choice

In conclusion, there are a number of different internet connection options available for businesses, depending on their specific needs and budget. Shared and dedicated fiber internet access are two of the most popular options, but there are also a number of other alternatives available, such as fixed wireless, satellite internet, 4G and 5G LTE, and mesh networking.

The best type of internet connection for you will depend on your individual needs and budget. If you need the fastest possible speeds and the highest level of reliability, fiber-optic internet is the best option. Fiber-optic internet uses light signals to transmit data, which results in very fast speeds and low latency. However, fiber-optic internet is not available in all areas, and it can be more expensive than other types of internet connections.

While shared and dedicated fiber are popular choices for businesses, there are several viable alternatives available that we have discussed above. By exploring these alternatives, businesses can find an internet access solution that meets their specific needs and budget.

For more information

Contact Metro Wireless to learn more about Dedicated Fiber Internet Access or shared fiber internet connection today by calling (888) 203-5826.

Tyler Hoffman