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Expert Opinion

Doug Brown: Challenges and Opportunities for Carrier Services During the Pandemic

Broadband Breakfast Staff

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The author of this Expert Opinion is Doug Brown of Great Plains Communications

As we all know by now, over a period of weeks – not months or years – the COVID-19 pandemic triggered unprecedented changes to communication networks. Telecom carriers saw their customers’ internet usage soar. Core network traffic and workloads moved to the edge, to the cloud. The need for more bandwidth quickly became apparent. – Estimates network volume range anywhere from 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) to 100 Gbps.

With more devices connecting to the network at different times, bandwidth requirements now fluctuate more than ever before.

While telecom carriers surely face obstacles accommodating the higher, fluctuating bandwidth loads, let’s take a look at ways to turn these challenges into opportunities for innovation.

Internet, the new corporate network

In the past, the everyday workload of a typical user went through data centers and virtual private networks. Now companies across all sectors — banking and financial services, healthcare, education, consumer goods, high tech, government and more — are decentralizing their networks and moving their applications and data to the cloud. Employees, many of whom are working remotely permanently or in a hybrid workplace model, now don’t touch the corporate network. They simply access the internet.

In many ways the internet has become the new corporate network.

Consequently, network topologies have shifted from the VPNs and multi-protocol label switching. The applications and resources that were previously in the core network backbone now must shift to the cloud.

Rising bandwidth demands calls for easier provisioning and diversity

What I’m hearing from carriers these days boils down to this: I need more bandwidth for my customers. Can you give it to me? How secure is that bandwidth to run applications?

Carriers have an opportunity to bring a very diverse product set to their end customers, and offer their customers in the field options on how to deliver those applications.

Increasing network capacity with agility

Core bandwidth providers must be able to quickly scale their network according to their customer’s needs, which they can do with lit services or dark fiber. Lit fiber is fiber-optic infrastructure currently in service. Dark fiber is fiber optic cable that’s already installed, but isn’t being used. It can be deployed for use within a shorter timeframe.

Providers who can provision bandwidth on demand by turning up capacity via software, instead of sending out an employee in the field, can promptly satisfy the needs of their subscribers while realizing efficiencies. For example, if a customer requested 500 Megabits per second, up to 1 Gbps can be turned up via software, instantaneously.

Network redundancy

As businesses are now running mission-critical applications over the networks, diversity and redundancy are even more of an imperative.  For example, a separate point of entry (POE) in data centers is critical to ensure that the network is up 99.999% of the time.

Opportunities  

Will our current hybrid working/learning/healthcare environment continue into the future? All signs point in that direction.

Given the popularity of IoT-based applications and devices and our increasing reliance upon the internet, a trend that shows no sign of slowing down, carriers should look to agile and efficient ways to deploy the capabilities of fiber broadband.

Doug Brown is director of wholesale and carrier services for Great Plains Communications, a telecommunications provider with an expanding, privately-owned 13,000-mile fiber network reaching 11 states. This piece is exclusive to Broadband Breakfast.

Broadband Breakfast accepts commentary from informed observers of the broadband scene. Please send pieces to [email protected]. The views expressed in Expert Opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Broadband Breakfast and Breakfast Media LLC.

Broadband Breakfast is a decade-old news organization based in Washington that is building a community of interest around broadband policy and internet technology, with a particular focus on better broadband infrastructure, the politics of privacy and the regulation of social media. Learn more about Broadband Breakfast.

Expert Opinion

Carri Bennet: Biden’s Broadband Plan is Key to Spurring Rural Economic Development, Jobs and Manufacturing

The American Jobs Plan, President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, includes $100 billion to ensure broadband availability to every single American at affordable rates. This means building more broadband in rural areas.

Broadband Breakfast Staff

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The author of this Expert Opinion is Carri Bennet of the law firm of Womble Bond Dickinson

As we all know by now, over a period of weeks – not months or years – the COVID-19 pandemic triggered unprecedented changes to communication networks. Telecom carriers saw their customers’ internet usage soar. Core network traffic and workloads moved to the edge, to the cloud. The need for more bandwidth quickly became apparent. – Estimates network volume range anywhere from 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) to 100 Gbps.

With more devices connecting to the network at different times, bandwidth requirements now fluctuate more than ever before.

While telecom carriers surely face obstacles accommodating the higher, fluctuating bandwidth loads, let’s take a look at ways to turn these challenges into opportunities for innovation.

Internet, the new corporate network

In the past, the everyday workload of a typical user went through data centers and virtual private networks. Now companies across all sectors — banking and financial services, healthcare, education, consumer goods, high tech, government and more — are decentralizing their networks and moving their applications and data to the cloud. Employees, many of whom are working remotely permanently or in a hybrid workplace model, now don’t touch the corporate network. They simply access the internet.

In many ways the internet has become the new corporate network.

Consequently, network topologies have shifted from the VPNs and multi-protocol label switching. The applications and resources that were previously in the core network backbone now must shift to the cloud.

Rising bandwidth demands calls for easier provisioning and diversity

What I’m hearing from carriers these days boils down to this: I need more bandwidth for my customers. Can you give it to me? How secure is that bandwidth to run applications?

Carriers have an opportunity to bring a very diverse product set to their end customers, and offer their customers in the field options on how to deliver those applications.

Increasing network capacity with agility

Core bandwidth providers must be able to quickly scale their network according to their customer’s needs, which they can do with lit services or dark fiber. Lit fiber is fiber-optic infrastructure currently in service. Dark fiber is fiber optic cable that’s already installed, but isn’t being used. It can be deployed for use within a shorter timeframe.

Providers who can provision bandwidth on demand by turning up capacity via software, instead of sending out an employee in the field, can promptly satisfy the needs of their subscribers while realizing efficiencies. For example, if a customer requested 500 Megabits per second, up to 1 Gbps can be turned up via software, instantaneously.

Network redundancy

As businesses are now running mission-critical applications over the networks, diversity and redundancy are even more of an imperative.  For example, a separate point of entry (POE) in data centers is critical to ensure that the network is up 99.999% of the time.

Opportunities  

Will our current hybrid working/learning/healthcare environment continue into the future? All signs point in that direction.

Given the popularity of IoT-based applications and devices and our increasing reliance upon the internet, a trend that shows no sign of slowing down, carriers should look to agile and efficient ways to deploy the capabilities of fiber broadband.

Doug Brown is director of wholesale and carrier services for Great Plains Communications, a telecommunications provider with an expanding, privately-owned 13,000-mile fiber network reaching 11 states. This piece is exclusive to Broadband Breakfast.

Broadband Breakfast accepts commentary from informed observers of the broadband scene. Please send pieces to [email protected]. The views expressed in Expert Opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Broadband Breakfast and Breakfast Media LLC.

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Expert Opinion

Shabbir Bagasrawala: A Clarion Call for Supply Chain Diversity in Our Telecom Networks

Limited competition is provided by the existing trio of vendors. This worsens the supply chain problem for operators.

Broadband Breakfast Staff

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The author of this Expert Opinion is Shabbir Bagasrawala, Head of Go-to-Market Team at Altiostar

As we all know by now, over a period of weeks – not months or years – the COVID-19 pandemic triggered unprecedented changes to communication networks. Telecom carriers saw their customers’ internet usage soar. Core network traffic and workloads moved to the edge, to the cloud. The need for more bandwidth quickly became apparent. – Estimates network volume range anywhere from 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) to 100 Gbps.

With more devices connecting to the network at different times, bandwidth requirements now fluctuate more than ever before.

While telecom carriers surely face obstacles accommodating the higher, fluctuating bandwidth loads, let’s take a look at ways to turn these challenges into opportunities for innovation.

Internet, the new corporate network

In the past, the everyday workload of a typical user went through data centers and virtual private networks. Now companies across all sectors — banking and financial services, healthcare, education, consumer goods, high tech, government and more — are decentralizing their networks and moving their applications and data to the cloud. Employees, many of whom are working remotely permanently or in a hybrid workplace model, now don’t touch the corporate network. They simply access the internet.

In many ways the internet has become the new corporate network.

Consequently, network topologies have shifted from the VPNs and multi-protocol label switching. The applications and resources that were previously in the core network backbone now must shift to the cloud.

Rising bandwidth demands calls for easier provisioning and diversity

What I’m hearing from carriers these days boils down to this: I need more bandwidth for my customers. Can you give it to me? How secure is that bandwidth to run applications?

Carriers have an opportunity to bring a very diverse product set to their end customers, and offer their customers in the field options on how to deliver those applications.

Increasing network capacity with agility

Core bandwidth providers must be able to quickly scale their network according to their customer’s needs, which they can do with lit services or dark fiber. Lit fiber is fiber-optic infrastructure currently in service. Dark fiber is fiber optic cable that’s already installed, but isn’t being used. It can be deployed for use within a shorter timeframe.

Providers who can provision bandwidth on demand by turning up capacity via software, instead of sending out an employee in the field, can promptly satisfy the needs of their subscribers while realizing efficiencies. For example, if a customer requested 500 Megabits per second, up to 1 Gbps can be turned up via software, instantaneously.

Network redundancy

As businesses are now running mission-critical applications over the networks, diversity and redundancy are even more of an imperative.  For example, a separate point of entry (POE) in data centers is critical to ensure that the network is up 99.999% of the time.

Opportunities  

Will our current hybrid working/learning/healthcare environment continue into the future? All signs point in that direction.

Given the popularity of IoT-based applications and devices and our increasing reliance upon the internet, a trend that shows no sign of slowing down, carriers should look to agile and efficient ways to deploy the capabilities of fiber broadband.

Doug Brown is director of wholesale and carrier services for Great Plains Communications, a telecommunications provider with an expanding, privately-owned 13,000-mile fiber network reaching 11 states. This piece is exclusive to Broadband Breakfast.

Broadband Breakfast accepts commentary from informed observers of the broadband scene. Please send pieces to [email protected]. The views expressed in Expert Opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Broadband Breakfast and Breakfast Media LLC.

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Expert Opinion

Gary Bolton: Satellite’s Polite Conceit of Unserved/Underserved

Broadband Breakfast Staff

Published

on

Gary Bolton, President and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association and author of this Expert Opinion piece

As we all know by now, over a period of weeks – not months or years – the COVID-19 pandemic triggered unprecedented changes to communication networks. Telecom carriers saw their customers’ internet usage soar. Core network traffic and workloads moved to the edge, to the cloud. The need for more bandwidth quickly became apparent. – Estimates network volume range anywhere from 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) to 100 Gbps.

With more devices connecting to the network at different times, bandwidth requirements now fluctuate more than ever before.

While telecom carriers surely face obstacles accommodating the higher, fluctuating bandwidth loads, let’s take a look at ways to turn these challenges into opportunities for innovation.

Internet, the new corporate network

In the past, the everyday workload of a typical user went through data centers and virtual private networks. Now companies across all sectors — banking and financial services, healthcare, education, consumer goods, high tech, government and more — are decentralizing their networks and moving their applications and data to the cloud. Employees, many of whom are working remotely permanently or in a hybrid workplace model, now don’t touch the corporate network. They simply access the internet.

In many ways the internet has become the new corporate network.

Consequently, network topologies have shifted from the VPNs and multi-protocol label switching. The applications and resources that were previously in the core network backbone now must shift to the cloud.

Rising bandwidth demands calls for easier provisioning and diversity

What I’m hearing from carriers these days boils down to this: I need more bandwidth for my customers. Can you give it to me? How secure is that bandwidth to run applications?

Carriers have an opportunity to bring a very diverse product set to their end customers, and offer their customers in the field options on how to deliver those applications.

Increasing network capacity with agility

Core bandwidth providers must be able to quickly scale their network according to their customer’s needs, which they can do with lit services or dark fiber. Lit fiber is fiber-optic infrastructure currently in service. Dark fiber is fiber optic cable that’s already installed, but isn’t being used. It can be deployed for use within a shorter timeframe.

Providers who can provision bandwidth on demand by turning up capacity via software, instead of sending out an employee in the field, can promptly satisfy the needs of their subscribers while realizing efficiencies. For example, if a customer requested 500 Megabits per second, up to 1 Gbps can be turned up via software, instantaneously.

Network redundancy

As businesses are now running mission-critical applications over the networks, diversity and redundancy are even more of an imperative.  For example, a separate point of entry (POE) in data centers is critical to ensure that the network is up 99.999% of the time.

Opportunities  

Will our current hybrid working/learning/healthcare environment continue into the future? All signs point in that direction.

Given the popularity of IoT-based applications and devices and our increasing reliance upon the internet, a trend that shows no sign of slowing down, carriers should look to agile and efficient ways to deploy the capabilities of fiber broadband.

Doug Brown is director of wholesale and carrier services for Great Plains Communications, a telecommunications provider with an expanding, privately-owned 13,000-mile fiber network reaching 11 states. This piece is exclusive to Broadband Breakfast.

Broadband Breakfast accepts commentary from informed observers of the broadband scene. Please send pieces to [email protected]. The views expressed in Expert Opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Broadband Breakfast and Breakfast Media LLC.

Continue Reading

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