Internet bandwidth: quantity vs. quality
BY GREG ARVIG, PRESIDENT, NEXTERA COMMUNICATIONS
Internet with Quality of Service can drive up performance for cloud-based software, among other applications
Does your company perform tasks that include streaming video, VoIP, cloud-based applications and other multimedia? If the answer is yes, consider Internet with Quality of Service (QoS) controls to ensure continuous and smooth service delivery.
QoS uses networking technologies and strategies to measure and improve network uptime, error rates, throughput, latency and other performance indicators. It prioritizes network traffic by targeting a network interface or specific servers, routers and applications. As a result, implementing QoS can guarantee quality connectivity for your business. It’s paramount for the streamlined, continuous transmission of high-bandwidth multimedia data, VoIP, and other apps used by most companies today. Without quality controls, you may not achieve the clarity and consistent reliability your business requires.
If you’ve experienced issues like clipping voice, unstable video connectivity or dropped interoffice networking, you’re aware of how annoying poor transmissions can be and more important, the negative impact it can have on business. In fact, bandwidth quality can be more essential than bandwidth quantity. QoS will drive up performance for applications including Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), cloud-based software, voice and video — whether communicating with customers, between offices or from remote offices back to headquarters.
How can you ensure high-quality Internet? Start by choosing the highest quality Internet for your needs. Basically, there are two primary Internet types to choose from, either consumer or business grade.
Consumer grade is considered “best effort” bandwidth and is usually delivered via DSL or cable modem and shared by groups of users within a designated geographical area. This type of bandwidth is often oversubscribed, which means other users share your bandwidth, resulting in overutilization which decreases the speed and quality of connectivity. It’s often an asymmetrical service, providing faster download than upload speeds. Quality issues are particularly apparent during peak use, those times of day where network availability decreases and delay increases. This results in poor network performance and a lack of support for applications requiring big bandwidth.
The second type of Internet is known as business or enterprise grade and sometimes referred to as Dedicated Internet Bandwidth (DIA). The infrastructure of DIA is distinctly different than consumer grade Internet because the bandwidth is specifically dedicated to you and provides symmetrical download and upload speeds. DIA service uses facilities such as T-1s, Ethernet over Copper, Fiber Optics or dedicated wireless (Nextera) and includes a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that can guarantee network availability, latency and the Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) standards necessary to support mission critical applications. SLAs back up your Internet provider’s guarantees with credits in case service doesn’t meet the promised standards.
The value of quantity vs. quality is a timeless debate with no clear cut answer, but ideally it’s best to get both the quantity and quality you need. To ensure bandwidth quantity needs are met, analyze your company’s daily Internet activities and talk to your provider to find out how many Mbps it takes for your Internet to run at optimal speed.
To guarantee quality bandwidth performance, choose dedicated bandwidth with a SLA and receive all the connectivity power you’re paying for — because private bandwidth never has to be shared with the business next door. It’s all yours.
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