Bandwidth: The Entertainment Industry’s True Star

Move over George Clooney, there’s a new star in Tinseltown. But you won’t hear much about it in the tabloids nor will you see the up-and-comer giving an acceptance speech at the Oscars or Emmys. The entertainment industry’s new star is operating behind the scenes: in studios and video streaming websites like Hulu and Netflix. The name of Hollywood’s new star? Bandwidth.

The rise of video streaming is one of the primary factors driving the need for more bandwidth for both workers in the entertainment industry as well as viewers. According to eMarketer, the average adult in the United States watched almost 300 times more digital content in 2015 than he or she did four years earlier. Among sites that strictly feature videos, such as YouTube and Netflix, as well as social media sites like Facebook, large amounts of bandwidth are required to support consistent delivery to users.

But it isn’t just end users watching shows at home that need more bandwidth support. Within the entertainment industry, employees need the support to piece video together. (more…)

This July 4th, Declare Your Independence from the Big ISPs

240 years ago, our founding fathers declared the 13 American colonies a united, sovereign nation free from the rule of the British Empire. On the grounds that they were being unduly taxed and controlled without proper representation, these revolutionary thinkers changed the world forever.

This Independence Day, commemorate the spirit of liberty and declare your independence from the big Internet Service providers.

The big ISPs are a lot like the British Empire of the 18th century: they’re massive, imposing corporations. Due to the sheer size of their organizations, it can feel like you’d have to travel across an ocean to develop a meaningful relationship and demonstrate the unique needs of your business.

Furthermore, larger ISPs must create services that will have a broad appeal. Their business model does not leave room for customizable solutions.

What does that mean for your organization? (more…)

Will 2016 Be Remembered as the Year of IPv6?

In 1983, when the Internet was still in its infancy and still referred to as ARPANET, IPv4 was deployed for the purpose of routing traffic. The original standard was designed to assign unique IP addresses for 4.3 billion possible devices to ensure that data flowed securely to the appropriate destination. That seemed like an inexhaustible supply of addresses at the time, but, in subsequent years, the number of devices connecting to the Internet has exploded.

The issue of running out of IP addresses came to a head in 2015 when the folks at Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for North America determined that their pool of available IP addresses was becoming exhausted. This was largely due to the popularity of connected “things.” According to a recent report from Gartner, 6.4 billion connected devices will be in use this year—a 30 percent increase from 2015.

From smartphones to smart refrigerators, the Internet of Things is disrupting the nature of connectivity and will continue to do so. Indeed, Gartner predicts that, by 2020, the number of connected devices will reach 20.8 billion.

The 2015 conclusions from the RIR may come to be known as the eulogy for IPv4, meaning that 2016 may come to be remembered as the year of IPv6. (more…)

What’s Sapping Your Bandwidth?

Forward-thinking business leaders are introducing all sorts of technology solutions to increase worker productivity these days. Just think about your offices: How many employees are using desktops? Mobile devices? How much of your vital data is stored on your network? When it comes to staying in communication, do you pick up the phone or do you send an email, text or Skype request? There is no question that your company’s success depends upon the tech that employees use every day to get their jobs done.

So what happens when your Internet speed starts to slow down? Or the quality of your video conferencing no longer facilitates group discussion? What if you have a time-sensitive document to send to a client and your network stalls?

Just as your employees depend on these tools to grow your company, all that technology relies on bandwidth. So if you’re experiencing problems with your network performance, it’s time for you to ask the question: What’s sapping my bandwidth? (more…)

All a Farmer Needs: Sun, Soil, Water … and Lightning-Fast Connectivity

Since the dawn of civilization, the recipe for farming success was fairly simple: sun, soil and water. But, today, things are a little more complicated. Partly due to a more competitive globalized economy, prices for crops and livestock have plunged, leading to a 15-year low in net income for farmers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Yet with a global population of 7.5 billion, demand for food has never been higher.

Given the demand, the opportunity to boost revenue can practically be tasted. Bringing it home to roost hinges upon modern technology, specifically, adding lightning-fast connectivity to the mix.

But what, exactly, does high-speed Internet access have to do with farming? (more…)

In a Smart City, the Real Movement is Underground

Can you imagine a major metropolitan area without traffic? Or poorly lit side streets? How about a city that gave you a strong public Wi-Fi connection whether you were riding a subway or standing at the top of a skyscraper? If you’ve been dreaming of a city with the infrastructure to match the technological developments that have emerged in the past few years, you may not have to wait much longer.

Around the world, city officials are beginning to adapt to the times, leveraging connectivity solutions to integrate major segments of their metro-area infrastructure into the growing Internet of Things (IoT) network to build “smart cities.”

But while government officials and citizens alike are dazzled by the potential impact of a connected city on daily life, more attention needs to be paid to what’s happening below the surface.

Without a strong fiber optic network underground, smart devices may not work to their full potential. (more…)