May 20, 2019
Folks out there that see this headline might think it silly to even cover this subject. They might say- who is even on these services still and if so- just how are they still operating a business with such low bandwidth?
The answer is more people than you might think…
The truth is- T1 services for voice and date (or both) are still very prevalent here in the Midwest. The mix of rural and urban necessitates it while the propagation of fiber and other new access offerings (more on that later) take hold.
The emerging issue that we see in our area, is while this propagation of next generation access is coming in- there also appears to be a more motivated LEC (Local Exchange Carrier) to no longer expand and even contract the copper network moving forward. From the outside, this looks to make good business sense on their part. On the inside however, it can be a delicate dance to ensure clients receive a robust and stable experience with their voice and data products. Broadband providers such as the local cable providers provide a great source of internet for our customers, however many times a more dedicated and stable connection needs to also be brought in for mission critical application such as voice. The migration to cloud only makes this more important. In short- taking place at this moment is a race for the new infrastructure to meaningfully arrive before the current infrastructure goes away.
The good news is that much if it is here already. Since 2010 there has been and continues to be a steady expansion in the fiber network, across all providers. With every new customer, the network expands organically, alongside strategic building of routes in order to be ready for new users. Even better news is that prices for fiber access are dropping as predicted. In fact 100 Mbps of fiber Internet costs a client less than 10 Mbps did just 4 years ago.
Fiber also plays another important role that end users don’t often think about; it is the backbone for other technologies that will really make an impact now and down the road. Specifically - did you know that one of the biggest consumers of fiber are the cellular carriers? There has been a rapid and steady surge in bandwidth going to towers all around you in the last 5 years. 4G LTE already made a huge impact on providing meaningful Internet Access for clients wherever signal is present. With the advent of 5G technologies, it’s the opinion of this blogger that internet access will truly go “in the Air” for many customers who choose not to go the fiber route.
Many questions remain as these products begin to formulate on the market. One thing is certain, MSPs like ourselves are keeping a close eye and will continue to move and shift with this landscape that is ever changing. Our mission is and will remain to architect the most spatble foundation for your business.