It’s not all about headline speeds

Posted by Karen on Feb 8, 2010 12:00:00 AM
I recently handled an enquiry with a prospect whose VC system was being let down by its underlying internet connection. The connection in place was a cheap Annex-M (O2) solution, the problem an unsatisfactory upstream data transfer rate that was fluctuating between 0.8 Mb/s and 1.3 Mb/s and accompanied by high jitter. His incumbent provider had informed him that with his line length too long for SDSL (2.4KM),  the only solution to improve his upload would be a bonded solution or leased lines; as he was already running on the quickest ADSL technology available. His ISP was right: ADSL 2+ Annex-M is the quickest DSL technology; but it was wrong in the respect that the speeds one receives from their connection are not exclusively attributable to the technology they use. Other factors such as the quality of an ISP’s network, the contention ratios guaranteed and the CPE devices used all play a significant role in the how quickly and effectively a service will operate. My recommendation - to simply move the prospect across from their Annex-M service to ours - came as some surprise to him. However I felt by using a Cisco router, and with Fluidata running a private VLAN across the O2 network to guarantee low contention, he would see an improved performance. Also by having the capacity to tinker with SNR settings, we could induce higher upload out of the technology and, at the very least, stabilise his upload speed and reduce his jitter. I was delighted than when I spoke to him earlier on this week and he reported achieving just over 2 Mb/s on the upload and that his Video Conferencing system was running smoother than ever. These speeds exceeded both our expectations and dispelled one of the myths in our industry: that purchasing connections is all about the speeds advertised.
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