Broadband Communities

MAR-APR 2013

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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SERVICE PROVIDER STRATEGIES Setting Expectations For Network Performance Is the customer always right? One industry veteran argues that the Internet service business is not – and cannot be – customer-centric. Both building owners and ISPs beneft from a realistic understanding of the technical and business constraints they face. By Sebastian Pereira / Broadband Enterprise D elivering Internet access in a multifamily building is not easy, but for an Internet service provider (ISP) that educates, trains, informs and advises its customers and installs the right equipment, the process isn't as hard as it seems. Yes, the information highway is fraught with accidents and mishaps – but still, people don't call cities every time a road is blocked or an accident delay occurs. Setting expectations is key, and a close working relationship between a buyer and a supplier is more benefcial than a yelling contest. BUIlDINg OwNER AND ISP In the last year, cloud computing crossed the chasm to the mass market, and ferocious bandwidth upgrades were needed as a result. Suddenly, building owners' expectations increased. How should an ISP respond to those expectations? For users that access the Internet about 10 hours a day, the cloud has changed everything. Students, remote businesses and small businesses that operate from home are the heaviest consumers of bandwidth. Students have, on average, six devices in their dorm rooms constantly connected, and then they invite friends to play multiplayer games during peak hour. Businesses soak up upstream capacity with Web and remote servers sending 80 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com emails and presentations, conducting voice and video webcasts and participating in instant chat sessions – sometimes, all through a wireless network. Netfix HD alone takes about 2 to 4 Mbps per stream. Now imagine one student viewing two movies, one on a desktop and the other on an iPhone, or a family with diferent Netfix viewing habits. Tere are more than 150 online movie sites like Netfix. At this same peak hour, students are trying to submit papers to meet deadlines and residential business users are trying to access servers late at night. Coupled with all this trafc are thousands of protocols being used to spoof networks, track users, create peer-to-peer agents, hijack browsers, reroute trafc and mask as HTTP to sneak into networks – and that doesn't even count the virus and spam trafc that typically soaks up anywhere from 20 percent to 30 percent of network capacity. Te Internet is not a policeable state, and no ISP can be blamed for all breakdowns. A simple building with 100 users has, on average, more than 200 moving parts – processors, software, powering, ether (air space for Wi-Fi), handshakes, authentication and hardware. A building owner that enters into a relationship with an ISP should expect a network to break down occasionally. | March/april 2013

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