With research from industry analysts like SanDisk suggesting that slower internet speeds can cost employees one week of productivity per year, it could be time for you to consider upgrading your existing fibre optic network to boost its capabilities – or installing a new one if you haven't already made the switch from copper wire.
Beyond the productivity boost, there are several reasons why upgrading your fibre optic network now makes good operational and business sense for the future. Here are seven of the major ones:
1. Refreshing Your Physical Infrastructure
Though optical fibres are very strong physically, this strength may deteriorate over time through usage, as well as the effects of microscopic surface flaws which occurred during the manufacturing process. Fatigue stresses induced due to installation and handling may also cause these surface errors to grow.
Fibre optic network specialists like the consultants at LG Networks test your network and identify any potential problems, so that these may be rectified before they can become a performance issue.
It's possible that your network may have been constructed gradually over time in a rather ad hoc manner – or installed according to a strategic blueprint that's now become obsolete. In this case, a refresh of your fibre optic network using a structured cabling system may be the answer. Structured cabling imposes a logical framework onto your network configuration, making cable runs smoother, connections easier, as well as locating and troubleshooting network problems more straightforward.
And structured cabling experts like LG Networks can easily replace your ageing or damaged data points, add new network components, or simply label, test and certify all the cable runs and devices on your fibre optic network.
A network upgrade may also provide an opportunity to include extra fibres for redundancy. This can allow for the replacement of any that might have been damaged during your initial installation, or as a hedge to provide for future network expansion. For business-critical applications, it's a good idea to allow for a complete backup link and / or a redundant fibre optic cable plant, run via a different route to your existing one.
2. Increasing Your Bandwidth
As your business grows and develops in the digital economy, so too will your need for data transmission capabilities. Activities like file sharing, cloud-based desktops, web conferencing, SIP trunking, and the streaming of different media types can soon exhaust the bandwidth allowances of cable internet subscriptions. This can even take a dent out of lower-grade fibre optic network deployments.
Research by Gartner Inc., suggests that 12.2 Mbps of peak bandwidth is required per user, for simple file sharing and cloud backups. Even the humble email system can take a significant bite out of that. Messages with large attachments on company intranets consume an average of 6.8 Mbps of peak bandwidth. Upgrading your fibre optic network to increase your available bandwidth makes practical and business sense.
3. Increasing Your Network Speeds
Insufficient bandwidth may also be aggravated by a sluggish network performance. Contemporary workers are just as likely to multi-task as the computer systems and mobile devices that they use: simultaneously uploading data files and multimedia content, while fielding calls on the telephone and downloading documents. Slower network speeds and latency impact negatively on all of these activities, introducing little pockets of "downtime" (waiting for files to load, upload, etc.) that accumulate and rob your enterprise of productivity.
The symmetric speed transmission of data on a fibre optic network ensures that upload and download traffic can travel at the same rate. With a spectrum of connection speeds ranging from 5 Mbps to 100 Gbps (more, with some of the promising new technologies), there's no reason for denying your business the speed that it requires. Upgrading your fibre optic network (or migrating from a wire-based network to optical fibre) can accelerate your operations to new levels.
4. Accommodating Your Cloud Deployments
Access to infrastructure, applications and services in the cloud is becoming an integral part of business in the digital era. Corporate networks are expanding beyond the on-site data centre to encompass the globe, with branch offices, remote sites, virtual desktops and mobile workers. It's been estimated that 82% of organisations are now using the cloud in some capacity.
An upgrade of your fibre optic network can assure you of the bandwidth and connection speed necessary to enjoy the full benefit of your cloud-based tools, communications, cloud-hosted information and services – free from delays or dropped connections.
5. Expanding Your Multimedia Capabilities
The dispersed and diverse enterprise of today thrives on collaboration and contact between its various elements. As a result, the use of multimedia tools and content is central to this communication. Video conferencing, video sharing, the cloud-based delivery of training, sales/marketing materials and streaming media in general: any combination of these may form part of an average working day.
It's been shown that an increased investment in video conferencing can save businesses thousands of pounds each year – not least, because it cuts down on business travelling. When you consider that on average, HD video streaming uses an upstream bandwidth of 6 Mbps per user – and that a fibre optic network can readily assure this without sacrificing available bandwidth for the enterprise as a whole – upgrading your existing set-up to maximise on multimedia seems like common sense.
6.Extending Your Wireless Coverage
We've already reached the stage where internet traffic from mobile and wireless devices equals or exceeds the level of usage from more traditional "wired" desktops and hardware. This fact is reflected in the number of commercial establishments and public spaces offering wireless internet access as part of their attraction to consumers.
If your business seeks to go a similar route – or if you need to provide localised wireless access to your workforce at strategic points – then you'll need to increase your available bandwidth. Upgrading your fibre optic network is a logical step in achieving this.
7. Enhancing Your VoIP Communications
Finally, with the impending demise of the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), many enterprises are looking to alternative technologies such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), as the basis for their telephony services.
Specialist organisations like LG Networks advise business users on the benefits of SIP trunking and VoIP telephony. We emphasise the need for a fast and stable network infrastructure to ensure the clean transfer of voice data, multimedia streams to enable video conferencing, Instant Messaging (IM) as well as other forms of real and near real-time communications on the digital platform.
Upgrading your fibre optic network is a way of ensuring the connection speeds, bandwidth and absence of latency required to optimise your IP telephony. This will also enhance your digital communications.
If you'd like to know more about making the transition to optical fibre or upgrading your existing fibre optic network, get in touch with the experts at LG Networks.