Telecoms Network Connectivity Part 1: Bandwidth

3 minute read

Forget the digital revolution, we’re truly living and breathing technology in every aspect of life. Apps, Networks, and Smart Devices are powering the digital movement: and it’s being pioneered into businesses by the employee. Cloud-based applications are now vital tools for many to go about their day to day work.

I’m a prime example. As a Marketing manager, I am bound to the cloud apps, services and software to create, collaborate, meet, plan, communicate, share, execute, deliver and measure. Every aspect of my job is now reliant on my Internet connection.

Businesses aren’t instructing employees to suddenly become cloud devotees, they just want work completed productively and efficiently; it’s employees that are taking the businesses they work in forward into the digital world.

Businesses are using more cloud services than ever before

To really illustrate what modern businesses are accessing via their internet pipe, I created a list just off the top of my head - I’m sure there are things I have missed!

Aside from your typical web browsing & email, here’s a list of things I use off the top of my head:

Cloud Services Cloud Document Processing (Office 365)
CRM Cloud Storage & File Sharing
VoIP Phone Systems Real-time data backup
VPNs Telemedicine
Remote desktops Video conferences/meetings

You get the idea. Businesses are doing a lot with their connections.

Can bandwidth keep up with our demands?

Nielsen’s Law of Internet Bandwidth states: Users’ bandwidth grows by 50% per year (10% less than Moore’s Law for computer speed).

Seeing as this theory was convoluted in 1998, it’s proven to be staggeringly accurate:

Internet Connectivity Graph

Mapping that same growth curve and extrapolating through to 2030, we find:

  • 500 Mbps connections demanded in 2018
  • 1Gbps connections demanded by 2020
  • 5Gbps connections demanded by 2023
  • 10Gbps connections demanded by 2026
  • 50Gbps connections demanded by 2030

Have you got enough bandwidth available?

Dedicated Fibre Ethernet is the connection of choice for modern business. It provides uncontended access, symmetrical download and upload speeds, and it’s also inherently scalable.

Limited only by bearer capacity, Fibre Ethernet can be scaled all the way to 10Gbps! That's some serious bandwidth.

To ensure your business has all the available bandwidth it requires, make sure your bearer has sufficient maximum capacity. Bearer’s generally come in three sizes:

  • 100Mbps
  • 1Gbps
  • 10Gbps

The maximum speed of the connection is limited by the size of the bearer. For example:

  • if you could comfortably run your business on 10Mbps speed then a 100Mbps bearer will enable a 10x increase in speed
  • if you immediately require 100Mbps to meet your demands, you will need a 1Gbps bearer to give you any future scalability

As an IT professional, if you get this wrong you could have to go cap in hand for more budget to get another pipe installed.

Top Tip

Ensure your business has all the bandwidth it could ever need by: 1. reviewing current bandwidth usage 2. forecasting future needs 3. obtaining a bearer size accordingly

Don’t become bound by your bandwidth

The Internet and data connectivity is now crucial to business performance. Both presently, and in the future, your connection has got to be performing in 3 key areas to support your company: 1. Bandwidth Availability 2. Security 3. Reliability

To achieve consistent connectivity, you need to ensure your connection can withstand these 3 tests on a daily basis. You now know the future bandwidth trends, you must now look at requirements within your organisation, to make sure your colleagues aren’t swarming your office when everything’s slowing down.

Once you’ve got a bandwidth to suit your business, you now need to make sure that the data flowing through your connection is secure. Next time, we put the Security of your connection under the microscope.

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