Fast internet – are you focused on the wrong measure?

Jamie BeresfordGlobal IT, Technology, Uncategorized

“My internet is slow.”

This is the last thing you want to hear from your new offshore team. A sluggish internet means reduced productivity, disrupted training, meetings and choppy voice calls. Not only does it slow down your team, it frustrates your customers. This is bad news.

I often hear people quoting ‘bandwidth’ when discussing internet speeds. If you have an internet connection, it’s likely you are familiar with the term bandwidth. But fewer people know the equally important (although often forgotten about) measure ‘latency’.

Latency measures the delay or time it takes for a piece of data to travel from one location to another (such as your office in Australia to a location in the Philippines). So while bandwidth refers to the size of the pipe at each end, latency refers to how fast the path between each end can transfer data.

In today’s wireless society, many people forget that there is a physical side to the internet that operates via a network of under sea cables. The public internet path between Australia and the Philippines is complex and subject to international congestion.

Unfortunately it’s not a simple matter of picking up your operations from home and moving it offshore. In the past, you may have logged into your work systems from home or maybe a hotel when working interstate. But moving part of your operations overseas requires a different level of IT scrutiny. International ISPs hold various peering agreements and some are more sophisticated than others. 80% of the BPO market in the Philippines is made up of US companies. So the ISPs are highly geared for latency to the US, not so much Australia. While your connections are seamless at home, with a shorter distance for your data to travel, you might experience trouble connecting from your new location. Especially if your data is going via Hawaii.

This is where latency comes in handy.

Because latency is measured in milliseconds, a decent speed test result will show results somewhere near 150ms. If your speed test is showing results between 200 – 250ms, your productivity is being negatively affected.

When I say your productivity is being halted, I mean that accessing your systems will be slow, you may see lags in your training (skype etc) and more. While these issues may not be a show stopper, it’s certainly going to frustrate your team and slow your momentum.

Now for the good news…

You can take back control of your internet and productivity by:

  • Performing a speed test.
  • Finding out what peering agreements are held by your ISP.
  • Being open to change and moving ISPs if you need to.
  • Taking control of the path or ‘route’ your data is taking.

When you are able to take back control, you may see your internet speeds improve by up to 70%. Most of the people we see show an improvement between 40-60%. Think about the benefits here – laser sharp training, voice and video calls clear and uninterrupted, as well as your systems quick and efficient. Bingo – better productivity.

If faster speeds are a concern and you are not getting the answers you need from your IT team, contact us for a free quote.