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We all expect to pay less for high speed internet today but how do you figure out the best fit for your firm’s needs?

Owen Hough from DTS NZ demystifies some key differences for us and what that means in terms of service:

With UFB (ultra fast broadband) services now well entrenched, we expect to pay a low price for the high speed fibre services we can access now.

There are several different UFB services available with pricing varying considerably. A basic guide is that Bitstream 2 is at the low end and Bitstream 4 at the high end … 

Here is a simplistic breakdown of the 3 main service variants:

  • Bitstream 2/2a Services – The most commonly deployed UFB service, best effort fibre connectivity, subject to network sharing with the local fibre company (Chorus, Enable etc..) meaning top end speeds aren’t guaranteed.  Delivered as a single VLAN (virtual local area network, allowing different devices to appear as a single network despite their geographical locations) service with a long wait for services to be restored if they go down, ranging from 12 to 48 hours.
  • Bitstream 3/3a/3b Services – Again a best effort service but clients can purchase high priority bandwidth for any critical applications that require committed bandwidth such as voice services (or more specifically, voice over internet services).  Bitstream 3 services are Multi VLAN capable and come with a 6 hour service restoration target.
  • Bitstream 4/Premium Fibre Services – Committed speeds with dedicated network priority from the local fibre company, Multi VLAN capable and generally comes with a maximum 6 hour restoration target.

As normal, the cheapest option is not always the best service for your firm. You need to take into account that business productivity can be seriously impacted in the event of a prolonged outage unless you have back up connectivity in place.

Many firms now have a back up internet service (that comes in via a different network provider).  This means if your main service goes down, you just click over to the backup service.  The monthly invoice for two lower end services, say UFB fibre and VDSL, may be less than for one premium fibre service, with the added bonus of network resiliency built in. 

When considering your present and future connectivity, take into account things such as team frustration levels, deadlines, client service commitments and potential loss of income as a result of being unable to access your firm’s data.  You’ll probably find that most firms today will practically grind to a halt if the internet is down, so minimising any risk of such downtime is crucial.

It is important that service providers such as DTS can educate firms regarding the different options available in the market.   This allows you to make an informed decision regarding the best fit service(s) for your firm.

Ask your provider what they think the best options are for your firm’s needs and why?  Many IT professionals and internet providers are a bit jargon heavy in their approach so feel free to speak up if you don’t understand what it is they are recommending for you.


Owen Hough

DTS Sales Manager