Broadband Communities

JUL 2015

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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10 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | JULY 2015 METRICS R oughly 319 million people live in the United States, and 84 percent of them, or about 270 million people, use the Internet daily. Given the vast array of people and equipment required to keep the Internet up and running, it's a wonder it works at all. To compound this problem, the rate of change for underlying technology and customer expectations is increasing. Te result is a very complex ecosystem that often translates into a frustrating experience for subscribers and a nearly impossible mission for ISPs. Two things are needed: a standards- based, future-proof approach to the design, construction and support of Internet services and a common, nontechnical way of quickly ascertaining operational health. INTERNET HEALTH An intuitive, commonly used indicator of network health is a bandwidth utilization report. IT professionals use this as a frst-glance diagnostic tool the same way a cardiologist uses an electrocardiogram. It has a predictable sinus rhythm that is indicative of the health and performance of Internet service. Figure 1 shows a typical bandwidth utilization chart in a bulk service multifamily environment where subscribers have unrestricted or "uncapped" access to the Internet. (Of course, all Internet access is limited by network capacity, but in the example shown here, network capacity exceeds user demand, and the service provider is not artifcially limiting access.) However, most subscribers don't have unrestricted access. ISPs typically confgure (or cap) subscribers' Internet service so they can't use more than their service plans stipulate. Most commercially available Internet service packages limit available bandwidth to, for example, 5Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream; these packages have been designed to help drive the sale of additional bandwidth. When an ISP or, in the case of multifamily properties, an owner, elects to limit the amount of available bandwidth, the report may look quite diferent. Figure 2 shows an environment in which access to bandwidth has been capped. In this environment, everything works well as long as subscriber devices and applications have ready access to the Internet before hitting the cap. As aggregate bandwidth demand approaches the bandwidth cap, network jitter and latency begin to increase, and things Community Toolkit Program & Economic Development Conference Series C i T l k i P Next-Generation Internet Legacy cable and telco infrastructure was designed for the pre-Internet world. As the Internet evolves, the old infrastructure will fall increasingly short of consumer expectations. By David Daugherty / Korcett Holdings Tuesday, September 15: David Daugherty will moderate a session for electric co-ops on the challenges of building and running a broadband business. p

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