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Business Telecom Predictions for 2014 (and How To Take Advantage of Them)

September 4th, 2013 by admin

Internet Pipes Will Get Bigger

Just a couple years ago, when everyone still had dial-up in their homes, the fastest Internet connection speeds available to most people were the connections in their offices. Now just the opposite seems to be true. Where as many business have a synchronous (same speed up and down) office Internet speed of 1.5 Mbps, the Internet speed many have at their home is 3.0 Mbps down and 768 kbps up or even higher. (Some phone companies with "fiber to the curb" offer some residential customers an Internet service with 12.0 Mbps downloads & 2.0 Mbps uploads for less than $100 per month.) (Editor's note: Business broadband Internet providers are quick to point out that these non-synchronous big residential cable & DSL Internet pipes are just that, good for residential use only and that they are a shared commodity that will get slower as more of their business neighbors go online. That may be so but business owners and managers always use their home broadband service as their benchmark for price points. Business broadband providers need to do a better job documenting the specific differences between the two grades of service.) Why do people at home need all that speed? Well just as a gas will expand to fill the container it occupies, so too will Internet applications expand to use up the broadband pipe they have to use. What broadband applications are expanding to sop up all the bandwidth available? A. Voice - Many businesses have come to the conclusion that they don't want to buy two separate T1s - one for voice traffic and one for Internet traffic. To save money many want to put their voice phone calls over their Internet T1 and then cancel their voice T1. When experimenting with this, IT managers are finding that uncompressed voice traffic is pretty fat, 80 kbps for a single call. Ten simultaneous phone calls take up half a T1. B. Video - While video conferencing may or may not ever become indispensable to the average business, on-demand (watch it whenever I want to) video will. What kind of on-demand video will become indispensable? Training videos, webinar playbacks, audio playbacks to name just three.. Over the next year or so, anything that can be read will be converted to something that can be watched. Even mom and pop small businesses will have "infomercials" on their websites to separate themselves from their competitors, "it slices, it dices, it makes Julian fries!" YouTube, who has set the standard for Internet video, advised that it takes 500 kbps per simultaneous viewer to have a decent video experience. C. Email Attachments - This is the real bandwidth killer. Ten years ago when a company needed to get a contract out immediately they sent it via overnight mail. Now the scan and email it. Ten years ago, sending an email with any kind of attachment was considered rocket science. Today, people can't understand what the big deal is over attaching a 10 Meg document to an email and sending it to every employee across the country. D. Online Applications - As businesses migrate their critical applications off their local servers onto remote, web-based servers they find that their small Internet portal is creating a log jam. "Online application" may not be a term many businesses are currently familiar with, but they will soon find that they can't run their businesses without them. Online "apps" most people already know about include Ebay.com (selling your stuff), YouTube.com (sharing videos) & Flickr.com (organizing & sharing photos). For a list of online business apps visit http://bizsolutions.google.com. One of the most successful online business apps is SalesForce.com. Many if not most of today's business software providers are in the process of offering their solution as an online application. This model of online delivery of a software solution is also known as SaaS ("software as a service") or ASP ("application services provider"). Call it whatever you like but it means more employees using Internet access as the same time uploading and downloading files. These are just four business applications sucking up Internet bandwidth. As employees find cool web-based productivity applications at home you can be sure they'll bring them to work. Business owners and IT managers will discover that increasing a company’s Internet bandwidth is the cheapest option available to them to increase the productivity of their employees. Over the past several years, 1.5 Mbps has been the standard size for a business Internet T1. Beginning in 2014, 10 Mbps will increasingly be seen as the minimum sized Internet portal businesses will see as sufficient. To entice early adopter businesses to migrate to the 10 Mbps pipe, many Internet providers are offering their best discounts and router promotions on their 10 Mbps Internet pipes. Andrew Cohen Vice President

Posted in: Telecommunications