No, Not All Internet Is The Same
“Internet is internet.” It’s a phrase you’ll sometimes hear when shopping for an internet provider, particularly from those trying to sell you a plan with a cut-rate, wow-you-won’t-believe-your-eyes price.
They say it for a reason. They would like to convince you that bandwidth is nothing more than a bulk commodity and that one provider is just as good as any another. To them, your focus should be on finding a provider that can promise you the most bandwidth at the cheapest rate. After all, the internet’s all the same, right?
The main problem with this “internet is internet” way of thinking: it is simply not true. How, where and even of what materials a network is constructed with dramatically impacts how well it performs. And that reality is becoming increasingly apparent to today’s IT leaders who are struggling to meet increasing network demands.
Network Performance Is Your Business Performance
Enterprise customers are starting to catch on to the “internet is internet” fallacy because an ever-growing amount of internet traffic is colliding with ever-increasing network performance demands. And network performance has never been so directly tied to business performance.
Customers are demanding more. Workplace technology infrastructure is changing.
For instance, broadband-intensive applications like cloud, video-on-demand, telemedicine and big data have overtaxed networks. At the same time, innovations such as SD-WAN, real-time analytics, app-based business models, and IoT require faster, more reliable, and ultra-secure networks.
Businesses are straining just to keep up. And IT departments are feeling the heat. That’s why business IT leaders are increasingly examining the quality of their connectivity provider’s network. They understand that its network quality impacts its ability to deliver the highest possible customer experience.
What Goes Into a Quality Network?
If not all internet is the same, what exactly distinguishes a quality network from a generic one? Look deeper at how cluttered or how clean the data path is. Delivering a clean path isn’t easy – but it is the secret to speed-of-light packet delivery.
The truth is that most networks haven’t been designed with a master plan. They have been cobbled together over years and decades, using different technologies, often built by various entities. Some twisted pair copper over here, some broadband here, a little fiber over there. A mix of telephone companies, cable companies, Tier 1 providers, Tier 2 providers and Tier 3 providers. That means that if you’re sending a file between two branches across town, your data may be sent on some long crazy journey before it arrives. That creates latency.
By contrast, Uniti offers a network built from the ground up. It is designed with the needs of business in mind. Using the best technology available, we laid fiber in strategic routes to create the most efficient paths. “Designed for business” also means our network doesn’t service the residential market or provide cable TV services on the side, clogging pipes and sapping customer service resources.
In a recent video (watch here), Graham Wooden, Director of Engineering at Uniti, explains how our unique IP Backbone was designed with the enterprise end-user in mind. “We don’t believe internet is internet. We believe it’s the connective tissue for your business and should be treated with care and attention,” says Wooden. “We designed our IP backbone in a distinctive, tactical, and unique way.”
Make It Pure-Fiber: Speed that Delivers
You want the physical road your data travels to be made of the right materials. Fiber is the fastest medium to transmit data from one point to another and the one with the highest signal integrity. But not every internet service traverses a fiber path. Of those that do, many mix fiber routes with those built on copper or coaxial cable. Uniti’s IP network is 100% end-to-end pure fiber, resulting in lightning-fast speed and optimal scalability.
Make It Low Latency: Get There First
Speed is great, but not if you have to stop and start along the way. Uniti’s architecture uses a dedicated, low-overhead IP infrastructure, unburdened by common switch-based networking. You ramp onto the network via hyper-local routers decentralized to your area. Dynamic, intelligent routing finds the cleanest path for your traffic. This all means you get smooth and incredibly efficient data delivery. Think of low latency as ensuring you “get there first.”
Make It Reserved: All Yours Bandwidth
The fine print on most internet plans is “up to” – as in a speed “up to 50 Mbps.” This is a signal that the service is best-effort and tightly shared among other competing users, usually meaning your upload performance will be lower than the download speed headlined. Uniti commits to “all yours” bandwidth and equal download and upload speeds. And don’t expect residential service congestion with Uniti – this is an all-enterprise network. This all means with Uniti your data travels a very select internet highway.
Bottom Line: Choose Your Internet Partner Wisely
So, what does this all mean for you? For starters, it means a clear path and new metrics by which you should be judging your network partners, not simply by price. Consider asking them how they handle your data, the percentage of fiber in their network, what routes it takes on its journey, what sort of latency you can expect, and how they ensure reliability. In short, what are they doing to make sure your customers and employees across town or across the world get the optimal experience from your company?
If you’re looking to compete in today’s data-heavy world, it’s time to understand the difference a quality network can make for your business. Contact Uniti today to see how we can provide the connectivity you need to achieve your goals.