A decade ago when visiting a new building, booking a hotel, evaluating a new office or home the last thought in our head would have been: How quick is the internet connection here? Today it’s the first question asked when a business is looking to move office location or take their services into the cloud.
Demand is outstripping supply
Improvements in infrastructure are starting to take hold and many but not all now have a choice of ISP. Broadband is still an issue in many rural locations and improvements in rural areas is going to take time. City speeds, speeds in London have improved considerably over the years and there are now a choice of high speed fibre networks available for us to take advantage of.
Do we need the speeds we think we need?
A lot of companies and individual users have a perception that more is better. Many think they need 100mb, 500mb or even a gigabit connection but is this really true? Do we actually know how fast the connection needs to be for what we are going to do with it? In many cases we think we need more speed than we actually do.
A recent experience
Recently I had a institution come to me wanting a 100Mb symmetrical connection, they felt they required this connection because they were planning to do a lot of video conferencing, they were insistent that they needed 100Mb. We provided them with much consultation and offered our advice but they still wanted the 100MB connection so it was installed. Once we installed the connection we monitored their data usage and we found that even at their busiest times they didn’t go over 15Mb.
On the other hand, we have clients that are heavy users, for these organisations the higher speeds are absolutely necessary. These connections have to be very reliable and we may even recommend two independent supplies which ensures true redundancy in the case of failure.
Before a company decides to spend a large chunk of their IT budget on a leased line or broadband connection we believe it’s important to consult with them, we calculate the speeds they actually require by finding out what they currently use and what their future plans are.
Savings a consultation can provide
Cost savings can be made once we are fully aware of what the client needs and why. Some of the considerations are: whether or not they are looking to move their telephony onto SIP trunks? Move their servers into a datacentre? Is the bandwidth they need actually available?
A new office maybe cheaper
A large leased line connection can be very expensive, new duct ways may have to be built, fields and roads may need to be dug up. A company may need a long fibre cable blown from the exchange or the cabinet, costs can mount up. After consultation you may find it cheaper to open a new office somewhere else and house the department that’s data hungry from this new location.
This post was written and supplied by Peter Harris, Peter works for London based unified communications provider, Interact.