Where’s the Bandwidth?
Many of G2’s clients are struggling to secure adequate bandwidth at their more rural locations. This issue is even more prevalent as SDWAN implementations continue and enterprises are looking for a reliable secondary connection for their data networks. We keep hearing about the promise of 5G, futuristic offerings such as Elon Musk’s Starlink, and the proposed infrastructure funding investments that may be approved for broadband, but in the interim clients are being forced to migrate away from T1.5 service that is being discontinued, and many are faced with no good options for similar bandwidth. In many instances egregious special construction costs for installation of Ethernet or broadband create insurmountable obstacles.
Specific to the T1.5 challenge, G2 has been successful in negotiating delayed migration schedules as well as securing large credit pools to defray special construction charges. While these concessions help mitigate some of the pain, there are still challenges identifying replacement services in areas of the country that are often referred to as “Digital Deserts”. Many of our clients have instituted a best practice strategy of continuous efforts to take advantage of new fiber implementations and higher bandwidth offerings as they become available, despite the resource drain this creates on already thinly stretched IT teams Still others are reexamining internal policies against the use of satellite service and embarking on Proof Of Concept exercises to determine whether advances in technology have adequately improved performance. Of course, wireless is always an option, but, along with DSL, not necessarily a viable solution when higher bandwidths are required.
In summary, G2’s clients are having to get creative to address challenges with securing adequate bandwidth at Digital Desert locations. We are seeing an increased willingness to entertain satellite, and efforts to identify options such as newly installed fiber are on-going, since availability is constantly changing. Both aggregators and broadband providers are stepping up to provide nationwide managed services that seek to address these needs, and clients with over a thousand locations are more open to these managed solutions than ever before. Whatever strategy enterprises choose, it is certain that there will be continued changes in availability of options for cost effective access.