Internet Service Provider Lessons Learned From Super Bowl XLVIII

Everyone loves a success story and everyone loves a dark horse. In the case of this year’s Super Bowl champions the Seattle Seahawks, this was certainly the case.

As it turns out, the greatest impact was made thanks to something on a much smaller scale, or should we say someone: Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. With a notably small physique, Wilson was initially considered a poor pick for the team’s offense. But now, ESPN describes him as “a perfect fit” for the Seahawks and he is being touted by the New York Times as “the most valuable player” during the game, despite stiff competition from big-name teams as well as physically larger players.

So, how does this relate to Internet service providers (ISPs)? Because, similar to this year’s Super Bowl, it seems that people have a harder time believing that smaller carriers can enable them to come out on top. It can be surprising when one realizes that smaller providers who may not have the big name or the influence are on the same level—if not, higher—than the conglomerates.

When you dig deeper, you can see just how much of a powerhouse smaller providers are in the industry and just how crucial of a role they play for taking the end-user to the finish line, just as Wilson lead his team to victory this year. That’s because smaller carriers can provide the following (among many other things):

  • A completely customizable solution to meet your business’ exact needs and to keep up with the pace of today’s ever-changing marketplace
  • Heightened employee productivity
  • Robust network security
  • The close and intimate working relationship needed to ensure the success of your investment
  • 24×7 access

Perhaps the greatest benefit of them all, however, is cost savings. Not only will you enjoy less upfront costs (a smaller carrier has been proven to reduce IP costs by up to 50 percent compared to the competition) but you’ll also see greater long-term cost savings associated with maintenance and provisioning. It’s one of the top reasons why so many people turn to smaller carriers to get the job done.

Our very own general manager Michael Scott predicted the rise of small carrier for the New Year, as well. Back in December, he explained: “Small carriers will win over 2014. Companies like us have been gaining significant traction over the larger, more well-known carriers. This will be even more of a win for the smaller guys because smaller carriers are more nimble and they have more time to adapt to newer standards and trends than the larger carriers do.”

You can’t deny that there’s something special about a team reclaiming its title after an entire decade. As a company based in Seattle, we want to congratulate our home-town team on a very exciting win!

What do you think? When it comes to the game of high speed bandwidth, do you believe that small carriers will walk away with the trophy or that larger, more well-known carriers will take the ball and run? Let us know in the comments section below!

High Speed Internet Becoming Main Priority for Underserved Areas

Underperforming Internet is a problem faced by both rural and metropolitan regions. While it is more so associated with the former—seeing how more densely populated areas have a greater incentive to add cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots—underserved areas can also be right within the major cities that millions of people inhabit. This has been a long-standing issue and one that countries across the globe have been working to counter.

For example, across the pond, the British government just announced a new £10 million fund to bring high speed Internet to underserved parts of the country. Meanwhile, a new study reveals that almost 7,000 local regions in Russia have no opportunity to get online.

This call to action for high speed Internet certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed in the U.S., either. Many states have revealed new initiatives to bring better service to Internet-lacking locations. For example, New York and Washington are two of many states working to do an Internet overhaul to better cater to their residents.

Just recently, it was reported that Albany, NY would begin ramping up Internet service thanks to a $14.5 million state initiative. According to reports, the state capital will be under a new program aimed at bringing broadband to over 29,000 homes and over 2,000 businesses in the region, including Western New York, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central New York, North Country and Mohawk Valley regions.

The state will see an incredible 614 miles of new fiber thanks to the new plan, which state officials hope will connect more than 500,000 New Yorkers with high speed Internet.

“Access to high speed internet is a critical resource for businesses and residents in today’s global economy,” Governor Andrew Cuomo explained in a statement. “These grants will connect underserved and rural communities to the many benefits of broadband access, including giving local businesses the opportunity to reach consumers from around the world.”

Seattle is also diligently working to strengthen Internet speeds in such areas as well after a deal made with a private service provider fell flat.

Recently, the city struck up a deal with Gigabit Squared, a digital economic development startup company, to provide high speed Internet to underserved areas of Seattle. However, the deal is no longer in the works due to problems being encountered by Gigabit Squared. The company promised speeds 100 times faster than traditional broadband with a fiber network operated by the company. The state was willing to shell out $25 million to get the necessary infrastructure in place.

“We understand the Gigabit problems had developed before the election,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray recently told reporter Marc Stiles in an interview.

The entire ordeal has put the city in a very sticky situation. Not only did the agreement unravel—letting down many of Seattle’s citizens in poor Internet areas—but Gigabit Squared left the city with a hefty bill totaling more than $52,000 due to city employees already having started work on the project. This debt has been sent to the city’s lawyers.

Getting Seattle’s residents back on track requires providing reliable high-speed Internet with a similarly reliable service provider. This consists of not only solid financial resources, but also a strong knowledge of the local area.

The need for dependable, high speed Internet extends not only across the nation but across the world. Citizens of Albany and Seattle may not be able to relate to those of England and Russia on many levels, but they have all felt the frustration of enduring poor Internet service.