It’s true; broadband carrier services are moving at faster speeds for cheaper rates.  You may be asking yourself how this is possible, and what’s the catch?  We are here to help! My name is Troy Sorzano, and I am the Director of IT here at Expert Technology Associates.  With my main role at ETA being the company’s forward-thinking IT strategist while managing our global technology systems and infrastructure, I continuously try to find ways to improve the performance of our customer’s voice and data services. 

When many of our customers hear that broadband carrier services are moving at faster speeds for cheaper rates, they usually assume that increasing their bandwidth will bring their employees a quicker, more efficient Internet experience.  In reality, they can only go as fast as the slowest point on their Internet journey. 

Think about it like this. You purchase a Ferrari that can reach a maximum speed of 180 miles per hour, but chances are you will never actually reach that speed.  Imagine the car in front of you is traveling 30 miles per hour, permitting you and your Ferrari to only reach speeds of 30 miles per hour as well. 

Like everything in life, there are two sides.  You may have purchased a 500 Mbps circuit to be used by your 25 employees, but this number means nothing if the websites they are visiting only provide them with speeds of 15 Mbps.  Consequently, most businesses aren’t even using a fraction of the bandwidth they are buying, especially small businesses that are purchasing the capacity for enterprise-like speeds. 

Of course, the Internet isn’t the only thing that limits the bandwidth that you purchased for your business.  Any device you plug into your network also plays a major role in bandwidth sizing, specifically UTMs, or Unified Threat Management devices.  These security devices control your experience on the Internet by serving as an antivirus filter, while protecting you from Web-based attacks and threats.  With a firewall or UTM in place you are limited to the devices top speed.  A 300 Mbps circuit connected to a UTM  with 50 Mbps throughput will be underutilizing the circuit by 250 Mbps of bandwidth.

One perfect example of how to fully utilize these super high speed circuits would be a business with two locations that would like to be networked together.  A properly configured VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection allows the business to fully utilize circuits of 100 Mbps, 300 Mbps or even 500 Mbps between multiple locations.  This is the best way to leverage these low cost, super speed circuits.

Most UTMS can be configured to enable full speed to trusted sites while only applying security measures, with their corresponding loss in speed, to less trusted sites.  This idea of “UTM tuning” is something we do routinely at ETA for our customers.  Our goal is to help all of our customers maximize their bandwidth capability, regardless of the type of circuit they use and the IT infrastructure they have in place.  With all of the possible configurations that are possible today, it’s good to have someone like us on your side that understands every element of the “bandwidth equation” in order to make sure you’re getting what you want out of the bandwidth you’re paying for.