You may think you can hit the accelerator all you want on a racetrack, but what if you have to keep hitting the brakes because the lanes are congested or impeded? The analogy works for your network, too – if you have access to high bandwidth but the network is congested or built on old equipment, you WILL have a latency problem.
Once upon a time, if an enterprise needed to improve the performance of its network, the answer was simple: Order more bandwidth from its connectivity provider.
But today, greater bandwidth is no longer the easy fix it once was. That’s because performance demands have become much greater, with increasingly bandwidth-heavy and latency-sensitive applications playing a more significant role in most enterprise operations.
That’s because latency is time. And time – you may have heard – is money. That’s not just a phrase for businesses that need the Internet to conduct business. Famously, Amazon once calculated that every 100 milliseconds of latency costs them 1% in sales. Another study determined that 57% of customers will abandon their online shopping cart if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
The Latency-Sensitive World
Not too long ago, 200 milliseconds was an acceptable latency rate for a network. Today, IT leaders say they want a latency rate in the 5-10 millisecond range from their connectivity providers.
Why Is Latency Now So Important?
There is more traffic on the internet than ever before – from HD streaming, telemedicine, video conferencing, cloud-based applications, gaming, computing and beyond – and these applications need on faster networks than ever to work well. High latency causes video jitter, lag and other poor user experiences.
The post-COVID shift to remote-based working environments has only accelerated a trend. That means even more content and other types of data are moving to an ever-increasing number of endpoints. Add in the proliferation of connected devices – from smart refrigerators to video doorbells – and the problem becomes worse. Almost overnight, ordinary consumers now have bandwidth needs that would have been inconceivable even for enterprises only a few years ago.
But that’s only half the story. Sophisticated applications – from robots on a factory floor to real-time automated trading – require nearly instantaneous communication to perform their tasks effectively. Even more widespread technologies like VoIP and videoconferencing suffer because of lag.
Ultimately, too much network latency negatively affects an enterprise by hurting online sales, frustrating employees with slow applications, degrading customer experience, slowing employee productivity, increasing customer service resolution times, causing slow adoption of cloud-based tools and apps and more.
What Causes Latency? Your Network.
Most telecommunication networks have been cobbled together over many years – even decades. There’s not a single network, but many. Each network is not only owned and maintained by different providers but could also have been built in different eras using different materials and technologies. So when your data travels, it may move along a convoluted (and thereby longer) route, negotiating “hops” across multiple networks and other bottlenecks. And while it may travel on a fiber optic network during part of its journey, it may hit slower technologies along the way. What’s worse, there is often competition from residential internet traffic.
A Quality Network Minimizes Latency
Providers like Uniti Fiber have designed clean networks from the ground up, using fiber optic lines exclusively. It creates a cleaner, smoother ride for your data. If the Internet is an information superhighway, then Uniti Fiber has built a private and dedicated HOV lane to carry its data – not converged with any other network traffic.
Uniti, for example, built its own 100% pure fiber IP backbone, allowing it to achieve a “flatter” network – in other words, a network where data doesn’t have to hop from one network to another.
Without getting in the weeds, other networks likely navigate multiple Autonomous System (AS) Numbers to navigate these hops. This can add complication to supportability and for traffic flows. Uniti has just one AS number, giving data a smoother, seamlessly controlled passage to where it needs to go. The internet knows our IP ranges, speeding up data transmission for less latency, jitter and dropped packets. Your VPN is controlled by one network – without the overhead of auxiliary decision making –resulting in a less latent and more secure end-to-end connection.
More Efficient Routing for Your Data
Because it’s concentrated in the Southeast and Gulf Coast of the United States, Uniti chooses only in-region connection ramps to the greater internet. Relying on the truism that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, Uniti’s upstream to the Internet is close by, putting less physical distance between your network and the greater world.
Strength in Uniti
Ultimately, the Uniti name is based on its differentiator. It’s a single unified network. It grew from the ground up, not through patching a bundling of various networks together.
As a matter of fact, we’re known in the industry as a carrier’s carrier. The major telecom carriers trust our unique, purpose-built backbone when they send their data over long distances. If the major players in telecom rely on us to do their backhaul, you can trust us to help you achieve the performance your enterprise needs to thrive.
Our team of experts can show you how a cleaner network can help you bring your network up to modern standards and achieve your business goals. Request a network routing report to see how your business can benefit from a faster, more secure internet service.