Archive for category: Blog

How Do I Determine the Amount of Bandwidth My Company Needs?

December 28th, 2020 [UPDATED]
Originally Published November 30th, 2018
How much bandwidth do I need for my business
 

Your Guide to Determining Bandwidth Requirements

As the world becomes more interconnected, our dependence on the Internet is becoming a non-negotiable business necessity. Most business applications that were formerly used offline or in a Local Area Network (LAN) now reside in the cloud, which means they are accessed and managed using the Internet. With vital business operations now hinging on Internet access, a fast, reliable network connection is more important than ever. While multiple factors can affect network performance, perhaps the most significant is network bandwidth.

What is bandwidth?

“Bandwidth” is a commonly used term to describe network speed. However, bandwidth does not quantify the speed at which data transmits through the network connection. Rather, bandwidth measures how much data can pass through the network in a fixed period. The significance of bandwidth on network performance depends upon the number of active devices connected to the network. The more devices connected – and actively using the Internet – means that more data is required to be accessible at any given moment.

Calculating Your Business’s Bandwidth Requirements

Business makers strive to achieve business objectives with the most value and efficiency possible. Understanding your company’s bandwidth requirements is an essential part of running a modern business (knowledge is power). For example, budgeting too little bandwidth could slow productivity, while oversubscribing can create an unnecessary operating expense (OpEx).

This article will help you understand how to calculate bandwidth requirements, or, at the very least, understand factors that drive the results of bandwidth requirement calculators.

How Many Employees Do You Have?

How many employees do you have that need Internet access? Current headcounts are easy to obtain, but you also need to project growth, which is a little more complicated. Being able to project staff growth is vital to understand future bandwidth needs.

For example, a business using a VoIP phone system that experiences a high call volume without enough bandwidth will find that’s its call quality becomes compromised. This, in turn, can negatively affect both sales performance and customer satisfaction.

Your broadband connection should be easily upgradeable and sufficiently scalable to meet your staffing projects for at least the coming two years. Redundancy also is vital when operations run from cloud applications, so be sure to have a backup connection to ensure business continuity if your company experiences outages or service disruptions.

 
How to calculate bandwidth requirements
 

How Many Active Workstations Does Your Business Have?

“Workstations” is a catchall term that has existed in the IT realm for many years. In the modern business environment, a mobile device may be considered a “workstation.” Many network-oriented IT teams are measuring the number of connected devices in the workplace. Be sure to include office phones that need Internet connectivity in your count. Even though their bandwidth requirements are not intensive, they should be factored into your bandwidth calculation.

Accuracy is essential when estimating the number of bandwidth-consuming devices on your network, but when in doubt (or just in case), overestimating is always better than underestimating.

Which Applications Are Running on Network Devices?

Even though many businesses still have systems infrastructure hosted on-site, many companies migrate their systems to the cloud. Customer Relationship Manager (CRM), Human Resources Management (HRM), and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) are reliably being used in the cloud not just by newer businesses but also in established companies seeking infrastructure-based competitive advantage. All of these trends increase the importance of reliable broadband connectivity.

Some applications are considerably more bandwidth-consumptive than others. Marketing departments that create social media videos and multimedia files require large amounts of bandwidth. For example, a typical 2- to 4-minute video could be between 500 MB and 1 GB, depending on the quality.

Is your Public Branch Exchange (PBX) or IP PBX on-site, or do you use a hosted PBX that resides in the cloud? How many employees are using such systems? Fortunately, most providers list the bandwidth requirement for their services, making for easy bandwidth-needs calculations.

As a rule of thumb, allow 1-1.5mbps for each workstation or device. Add another 25% if personal devices are connected. However, every case is different, you might need less, or you might need more, depending on your business activities.

The Need for a Disaster Recovery Plan

Having a backup Internet line is more imperative today than it has ever been. Access to a payment gateway or website can provide bare-minimum business continuity, but even this is inadequate for most businesses. Read more about disaster recovery planning in our blog, “Disaster Recovery Plan.” Considering the fires, hurricanes, pandemics, and other disruptions in recent years, business continuity planning could be a life-or-death difference for your company.

Redundancy key to successful business continuity during an outage, and planning for a backup connectivity and source carrier with a robust Service Level Agreement (SLA) like GeoLinks can be central to your success.

Conclusion

Understanding your bandwidth requirements is essential to successful business operations management, allowing you to make informed decisions on operating expenses (OpEx) based on accurate, reliable information. Your bandwidth requirement calculations should factor in employee headcount, the number of devices connected to your network, how many will require Internet access, and the types of applications used by those devices. Adding a 10% contingency for peace of mind, and planning for future expansion and business continuity, can help you successfully size your bandwidth needs.

Need Business Internet with Unlimited Bandwidth?

Named “Most Disruptive Technology” in the 2018 Central Coast Innovation Awards, GeoLinks’ ClearFiber™ network offers business-class fixed wireless Internet with guaranteed speeds (reaching up to 10 Gbps) and unlimited bandwidth. Backed by a carrier-grade Service Level Agreement boasting 99.999% uptime and 24/7 in-house customer support, we’re proud to offer the most resilient and scalable fixed wireless network on the market.

Need help calculating your bandwidth needs?

If you have any questions about calculating your bandwidth requirements, our service engineers will work with you to calculate the required bandwidth for your specific business needs.

Contact GeoLinks
 
 
Or call 888.225.1571.
Call GeoLinks

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best ISP for Your Business

December 22nd, 2020 [UPDATED]
Originally Published May 31st, 2019

How do you choose the best business Internet Service Provider?

With the proliferation of cloud services, and day-to-day business operations becoming increasingly reliant on the Internet, choosing the right business Internet Service Provider (ISP) is more important than ever. Businesses located in markets with many broadband providers, such as in Los Angeles or Orange County, have plenty of options. We’ve prepared a guide to help you find the right provider for your needs.

Understanding the business Internet options available to you upfront can help you get the most from our guide and land on the right ISP. Practical evaluation starts with the type of Internet service itself, which can inform your ISP selection.

Types of Internet Connections for Business

  • Cable Internet – Cable is a widely available Internet service that uses coaxial cable lines (the same that deliver cable TV) to provide a broadband Internet connection to your business.
  • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Internet – DSL is another widely available Internet connection because it uses standard phone lines to deliver broadband access.
  • Fixed Wireless Internet Fixed Wireless Internet delivers broadband access using a tower, antenna, and an express line of sight (LoS), and a fiber-optic backbone. Towers broadcast a wireless signal (via radio waves) to the antenna at the business location.
  • Fiber Optic Internet – Fiber service connections use fiber optic cables that run directly from the ISP to the business location.
  • Satellite Internet – Satellite delivers broadband access via an Internet signal to a satellite in space that’s passed to a dish at the business location.

These Internet options vary by availability, performance, reliability and cost. Evaluating your business needs on these criteria is vital to selecting the right Internet service for your business.

5 Factors for Choosing Your Next ISP

1. Reputation

One reliable way to vet a new provider is through reputation research. Whether this consists of reading through online reviews posted on Yelp or Google, or speaking directly with neighboring businesses, understanding an ISP’s reputation is a sound method of narrowing your options.

TIP: Many providers offer both residential and business services, which have different needs and expectations for uptime, quality-of-service (QoS), and more. Be conscious of the type of customer when evaluating reviews.

2. Service Level Agreements (SLA)

A service-level agreement (SLA) is a contractual commitment between an Internet service provider and a customer. An ISP’s SLA should provide guaranteed service metrics such as uptime, latency, jitter, packet loss, and response/repair time. For example, GeoLinks’ SLA offers the following service targets:

  • Response Priority: Critical: 4hrs or less
  • Network Quality of Service
  • Network Availability: Target of at least 99.999% uptime
  • Round Trip Latency Under 40ms
  • Jitter under 10ms
  • Packet loss target < 0.1%

Note that some Internet providers don’t offer guaranteed service levels at all. In fact, a variety of providers avoid service-level commitments altogether with language like this:

“X company does not warrant that the service will be uninterrupted or error-free nor make any warranty as to the results obtained from the use of the service. X company does not guarantee connectivity at any time, for any length of time or at any particular speed.”

Make sure you carefully research an ISP’s SLA before sourcing that provider for your services.

 
Best Internet Service Provider Customer Support
 

3. Customer Support

In an ideal world, you’d never have to engage with your ISP following service installation. That’s simply not the case.

Whether you have billing questions, experience service issues, need technical support, have upgrade inquiries or product add-ons, at some point or another, you’ll need to engage with your ISP’s customer support team. Research the quality of support the company offers before signing up.

Giant ISPs make you sit through automated phone menus, place you on lengthy holds, and may eventually transfer you to a contracted party outside of the U.S. You can do better—even from companies with cutting-edge technology. GeoLinks, for example, offers 24/7 in-house customer support, and customers can even ask for support reps by name.

And don’t overlook responsiveness. If your business does experience a technical issue, how long does it take your provider to respond and address the problem? Time is money, so whether it’s hours wasted on hold or weeks waiting on a repair, how your ISP handles customer relations directly affects your company’s line.

4. Agility and Flexibility

As a business grows and changes, its overall telecom needs will as well. For example, a law firm hiring ten new associates is likely to need a bandwidth upgrade. The scope of services you need may change over time as well, and some providers offer business phone and Internet bundles to streamline telecom – and billing – needs with a single provider.

Some ISPs offer additional services such as VoIP and SD-WAN, while others do not. When selecting your ISP, you need to make sure you explore their entire product suite and service offerings. All of this can become time-consuming and burdensome.

Choosing an aggregator (an ISP that is capable of reselling multiple ISP products and services) such as GeoLinks, ensures that no matter the growth or changes in your business, you can rely on a single provider to upgrade and adapt to your evolving business needs.

 
Business Internet Bandwidth Requirements
 

5. Bandwidth Availability

If you don’t know how much Internet bandwidth your company needs, check out “Your Guide to Determining Bandwidth Requirements.” Understanding your bandwidth needs is essential to ensuring that you’re sourcing an ISP that can provide the speeds your company needs.

Bandwidth availability may fluctuate from carrier to carrier based on your location and the type of Internet access you are looking for (i.e., Fiber vs. Fixed Wireless vs. DSL, etc.). Furthermore, if it does appear the ISP offers what you are looking for, make sure you understand whether you’d be getting a dedicated or shared circuit, as this factor also will impact the reliability and consistency of speeds.

Is GeoLinks the right ISP for your business?

Chat with one of our in-house experts to see if one of GeoLinks’ business Internet services is right for your business.

Request a Quote
 
 

Need Internet Immediately?

Talk with a GeoLinks Internet specialist now.
Call 888.225.1571

Call GeoLinks

Looking for a True Partner, Not Another Tech Vendor?

How GeoLinks Puts ‘Partner’ Back into Channel Partnership

How often have you gotten a call from a channel manager, asking, “What have you done for us lately?” How many quotes, how many deals, how much revenue?

At GeoLinks, it’s the other way around. Our channel managers are asking, “What have we done for you lately? How can we help you serve your customers?”

We understand that as an indirect sales partner, you aren’t working with vendors solely for their technology services. Of course, having a best-in-class solution is part of your decision, but it’s not your only consideration.

What you’re really looking for is a true business partner — one that actually helps you solve customer challenges, gets involved directly in the sales process when needed, helps you close deals and adapts to your preferred business processes (not the other way around).

And, of course, you want a partner that takes good care of your customers so you can retain them and the associated recurring revenue.

At GeoLinks, we’ve created a partner program that’s focused on all of these things to help you to be successful. Here’s how:

Industry-Leading Commissions

We understand that a strong partnership is built on fair compensation. That’s why we offer competitive evergreen commissions for the life of the customer. Plus, we provide multiple SPIFFs throughout the year to sweeten the deal. We even offer SPIFFs on connectivity, which is rare in today’s market.

Speed to Delivery & Speed to Payment

Due to the efficiencies of our radio technology and in-house onboarding processes, our implementations for your customers take between 4 to 10 business days. Our competitors take weeks and sometimes months to process and complete a service order. No other provider can compete with GeoLinks’ timetable. Your customer gets installed faster, which means you get paid sooner than with any other provider.

End-to-End Sales Support

Our channel managers will answer any questions you have and offer best practices on the most effective ways to position our services to your prospects. We’ll even join your sales calls to help you close the deal. That said, if your business prefers a more hands-off approach, that’s no problem. We adapt to your method of doing business.

Consultative Marketing Support

We offer sales collateral including battlecards, flyers and reference sheets so that you’ll always know when to include our services in a deal and how to combine them to create a solution that meets their objectives for business continuity or remote work, for example. (And, we’re upfront with you about when our services are not a good fit so that you recommend the best solution for your customer.)

No High-Pressure Sales Tactics

All members of our sales staff have technical backgrounds and aim to solve your clients’ network or communications challenges. We never pressure you to propose services when they’re not needed. We also have sales engineers available to handle more complex requests.

Personalized Training

Our network and communications specialists will meet with you in-person or on a web meeting to review our products and services or demo our Hosted Voice solution.
We’ll also walk through our implementation process, so you know what your customers will experience when we service their network and communications environment. Here’s an example: What to Expect From Your Fixed Wireless Installation.

24/7/365 In-House Customer Support

At GeoLinks, all customer support and service inquiries are handled by our U.S.-based technical experts and specialists, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We respond to an inquiry in four hours or less, which we guarantee in our service level agreement (SLA).

Proactive Network Monitoring

We’ll onboard your customer, complete the implementation and handle ongoing monitoring and maintenance of their network environment. Your GeoLinks clients won’t come to you with issues because we take care of them so that you can focus on your business.

GeoLinks is not just another technology vendor to add to your line card. We’re a true partner, an extension of your organization and focused on growing your business.

Ready for a True Channel Partnership?

Contact GeoLinks Today!

Become a Partner

SD-WAN for Dummies: What is It and Why Do Businesses Use It?

SD-WAN for Dummies: What is it and why do business use it?



 

New to software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN)? Here’s a complete tutorial on SD-WAN.

Introduction to SD-WAN

Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is leveraged by businesses for network management that offers ease of deployment, central control functionality, and reduced costs. And thanks to many business applications moving to the cloud, it can improve network connectivity between those virtual applications and branch offices. How does it accomplish these tasks for businesses? Let’s start with where SD-WAN gets its roots.

What is WAN?

Wide Area Network (WAN) is a term that describes the method in which data is exchanged between multiple business locations. The WAN’s job is to connect users to their applications from anywhere, on any device, and to wherever those applications are hosted. What separates WAN from other networks is that it has no boundaries for transmitting and receiving data, which means it can connect locations across states, countries, etc.

Examples of WAN connectivity:

  • Broadband Internet – such as cable or DSL
  • Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) – such as fiber Ethernet
  • Wireless – such as fixed wireless or 4G LTE

What is an SDN?

Software-defined (SD) refers to abstracting the control capabilities of underlying hardware into a virtual environment. For example, a software-defined network (SDN) grants control functionality separate from the network’s physical devices, allowing configuration and management from a centralized location. Rather than configuring a network device by device, the configuration is managed in one place and applied to all devices simultaneously.

 
What is SD-WAN and How does it work?
 

What is SD-WAN? How Does it Work?

Now that we know the component makeup of SD-WAN, we know that SD-WAN is a tool that uses software to unify and intelligently manage traffic connectivity between remote branches, data centers, and cloud applications. SD-WAN has administrative capabilities over multiple connections (e.g., from LTE to broadband to MPLS) and segments, partitions, and secures traffic across an enterprise’s WAN. Each SD-WAN implementation is managed from a central function control plane that monitors network activity and signals your company and the SD-WAN vendor to any problems when they occur.

SD-WAN Configurations: Active-Active VS Active-Passive

There are two main types of SD-WAN setups.

Active-Active Configuration

In the active-active configuration, businesses have at least two (sometimes more) WAN connections online 24/7. Network traffic passes over whichever connection is best for the application in use at any given time. SD-WAN can prioritize traffic instantaneously based on each WAN connection’s real-time quality or state, which nearly guarantees that no data will be lost while using business applications.

Active-Passive Configuration

In an active-passive configuration, businesses have a single WAN connection online at any given time. If the active (or primary) connection fails, data will failover to the secondary pathway.

 
Why do businesses use SD-WAN?
 

Why Do Businesses Use SD-WAN?

SD-WAN benefits businesses of all sizes. While there are some differences in features depending on the SD-WAN vendor, businesses can expect the following benefits with SD-WAN:

  1. Cost Savings – Businesses can save money in several ways with SD-WAN. First, it can replace or reduce the number of expensive private MPLS connections with more cost-efficient public Internet connections. It also can remove the need for expensive routing hardware since those are now controlled with software. SD-WAN also reduces IT services and management costs. Since administrative control functions are now virtual, there are no physical configuration requirements on-site. Instead, IT can access and manage the control function plane conveniently off-site, reducing the need for on-site IT personnel.
  2. Bandwidth Elasticity – SD-WAN can intelligently manage multiple network connections to increase bandwidth by removing network congestion and creating better application response time.
  3. Enhanced Quality of Service (QoS) – SD-WAN steers business-critical traffic and applications through the most reliable, highest-performing connections. The net impact is a reduction in data packet loss and latency issues, which improves user experience and productivity.
  4. Business Continuity – One of the most valuable benefits of SD-WAN is its ability to deliver network redundancy. As described in the previous section, SD-WAN can direct traffic on multiple connections, whether the configuration is active-active or active-passive. This routing ability means that businesses often can avoid network downtime – with their users remaining online and active – even if there is an outage with one or more connections.
  5. Improved Data Security – Often, SD-WAN can mitigate security threats by virtualizing a firewall that makes public traffic encrypted. Some other basic security capabilities are inherent with SD-WAN, such as denying or limiting traffic from specific sites.

Ready to Invest in SD-WAN for Your Business?

Chat with one of our in-house experts to see if GeoLinks’ SD-WAN is right for your business. There are no high-pressure sales tactics here – we promise. We treat you like we want to be treated.

 
Request a Quote


 

Need Internet for Your Business Now?

Talk with a GeoLinks Internet specialist now.

Call 888.225.1571

Call GeoLinks

How Does Fixed Wireless Compare to Other Business Internet Services?

Fixed Wireless Internet for Business

 

Here’s how fixed wireless Internet stacks up against other internet technologies.

High-speed Internet service has become as essential as electricity in today’s modern business, and there’s no shortage of options available. Fixed wireless Internet is an often-overlooked, less widely known option among its competitors. However, in many cases, fixed wireless Internet delivers businesses more reliability and performance, in addition to potential cost savings. First, let’s review the Internet service options available for businesses today.

Business Fixed Wireless Internet

Fixed wireless Internet is a wireless Internet service that broadcasts data between two fixed points using a tower, antenna, and an express line of sight (LoS). Fixed wireless Internet providers, like GeoLinks, operate wireless broadcast towers connected to a fiber-optic backbone. With a direct line of sight to a business location, those towers deliver broadband Internet access by sending a signal through radio waves to an antenna that resides at that business.

Business Internet Options



 

Other Business Internet Options

    • DSL Broadband – Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) broadband connections use standard phone lines to deliver high-speed Internet.
    • Cable Broadband – Cable Internet uses coaxial cable lines to deliver broadband internet access to a home or business. They are the same lines that deliver cable TV.
    • Fiber Optic Internet – Fiber optic Internet is an Internet connection that uses fiber optic cables to deliver broadband Internet access to a business location. Data converted into light signals moves at light speed through thin glass wires inside larger, protective cables.
    • Satellite Internet – A satellite provider passes an Internet signal to a satellite in space. That signal is pushed to a satellite dish at a business location.

Why Businesses Choose Fixed Wireless

Businesses that choose fixed wireless Internet do so for the distinctive features and benefits that separate it from other Internet services. Here are some examples of why:

Example #1: More Reliable than Satellite Internet

Let’s take a look at fixed wireless Internet and the weather, for example. The effects of bad weather on wireless technologies are common causes of concern for network downtime. This type of outage is most commonly associated with satellite internet services. Although both solutions require a dish or antennas, fixed wireless Internet, when engineered effectively, has far superior resiliency than satellite solutions and is unaffected by clouds, rain, and other types of bad weather conditions. In fact, in many cases, fixed wireless solutions stay operational when weather or natural disaster events disrupt all other forms of Internet access. Furthermore, advanced fixed-wireless Internet service providers (ISPs) build redundancy into their fixed wireless networks. In the case of GeoLinks, for example, this engineering translates to a 99.999% uptime capability.

Example #2: Faster Installation and Lower Up-front Cost than Fiber

Fiber optic Internet is a robust business Internet solution in terms of pure performance, but fixed wireless touts plenty of speed as well. They are both incredibly reliable and have dedicated connections. Businesses usually choose fixed wireless over fiber because of the significant cost savings during installation and because of significantly faster time-to-deployment windows. Fiber can often require construction to run fiber lines to a location, permits to do so, and then construction time. All in, a fixed wireless installation is a much faster process.

Example #3: Faster Download Speeds than Cable and DSL

While they are the most widely available Internet services, DSL and cable solutions generally have slower connections than fixed wireless. Some DSL ISPs offer speeds up to 100Mbps, while most cable ISPs max out at 1000Mbps (1Gbps). By way of comparison, GeoLinks ClearFiber™ Fixed Wireless Internet provides speeds up to 10Gbps.

Example #4: No Shared Internet Connection

A shared internet service like Cable shares bandwidth with surrounding areas. As a result, network speeds slow down significantly at peak hours of internet usage. Fixed wireless Internet offers unlimited bandwidth on its dedicated connection, which means businesses get guaranteed speeds, not “up to” speeds.

Business Internet Comparison Chart

See how fixed wireless compares to all other business Internet services.

Business Internet Comparison



 

Is Fixed Wireless the Best Option for My Business?

Chat with one of our in-house experts to see if GeoLinks ClearFiber™ Fixed Wireless is right for your business. There are no high-pressure sales tactics here – we promise. We treat you like we would want to be treated.

Request a Quote


 

Need Internet for Your Business Now?

Talk with a GeoLinks Internet specialist now.

Call 888.225.1571

Call GeoLinks

GeoLinks, California’s Fastest Growing Telecom Company Raises Private Equity Funding from Group Led by Rock Mountain Capital

CAMARILLO, Calif.GeoLinks, the fastest growing telecommunications company in California, today announced it has secured a significant minority investment from a group led by Rock Mountain Capital (RMC). The investment will power GeoLinks’ accelerated network expansion plans, amplify funding for strategic acquisitions and streamline internal growth and operations.

“GeoLinks launched with the goal of disrupting a multibillion-dollar telecom industry,” said GeoLinks Co-Founder and CEO, Skyler Ditchfield. “We’ve done that by operationalizing a simple, yet profound idea – do everything better and treat your customer how you would like to be treated. Through strategic network growth, technological innovation and unwavering dedication, we’ve continued to deliver high-speed connectivity to more businesses, schools, libraries, hospitals and households throughout California and Nevada every day. Partnering with a premier team from Rock Mountain Capital allows us to scale our growth while reaching more customers in our coverage area and continuing to grow our network.”

“As the largest winner of Connect America Fund II programs in California, and with its cutting-edge fixed wireless technology, GeoLinks is poised for exciting growth over the next decade to meet increased demand for universal high-speed broadband access,” said David Stonehill, Founder and Managing Partner of Rock Mountain Capital. “Skyler Ditchfield and the management team at GeoLinks have an outstanding track record building and operating high-speed, high-quality broadband networks throughout California. With RMC’s support, we are confident the GeoLinks team will continue its technological innovation, stellar customer service and rapid rate of organic growth, and will serve as a platform for potential industry consolidation.”

The investment comes at a time when the company is in the process of deploying its revolutionary ClearFiber+ technology across one of the fastest growing fixed wireless networks in the nation. Capable of connecting businesses and anchors institutions to multigigabit networks in less than 10 days, GeoLinks owns exclusive rights to utilize the technology platform in key spectrum bands throughout the United States. Together with its recent acquisition of network assets and 5G spectrum licenses from TPx Communications, GeoLinks owns the largest coverage area of any single provider in California. Combined with its existing position as one of the fastest growing private companies in America, the company is poised for exponential growth over the next year.

Bank Street Group served as exclusive financial advisor to GeoLinks in connection with this transaction.

For more information on GeoLinks, including new product launches and strategic initiatives, please visit www.GeoLinks.com. For more information on Rock Mountain Capital, please visit www.RockMountainCapital.com.

For media inquiries involving GeoLinks, please contact Ben Gallagher at [email protected] or (805) 276-8322. For inquiries involving Rock Mountain Capital, please contact Abbe Serphos at [email protected] or (917) 699-9661.

 

About GeoLinks

Headquartered in Southern California, GeoLinks is a leading telecommunications company and competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) public utility, nationally recognized for its innovative Internet and Hosted Voice solutions. Ranked on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America three-years running, GeoLinks delivers Enterprise-Grade Internet, Digital Voice, SD-WANCloud On-ramping, Layer 2 Transport, and both Public and Private Turnkey Network Construction expertly tailored for businesses and Anchor Institutions nationwide.

 

About Rock Mountain Capital

Rock Mountain Capital works with entrepreneurs and management teams in the consumer goods & services, leisure & entertainment, and technology, media & telecom (TMT) sectors to accelerate organizational development, execute on organic growth opportunities and pursue strategic M&A and roll-up / consolidation strategies. Rock Mountain invests capital that matches its investment mandate – patient, long-term capital sourced from family offices of successful entrepreneurs, and other like-minded institutional investors. Rock Mountain was founded in 2019 by private equity industry veterans who bring over 30 years of experience investing in and growing middle market companies.

What Does a Fixed Wireless Business Internet Installation Look Like?

Fixed Wireless Internet Installations for Business – What to Expect
October 27th, 2020 [UPDATED]
Originally Published on January 15th, 2019

Fixed Wireless Business Internet Installations – What to Expect

Fixed Wireless Internet providers deliver high-speed broadband access to a single location via radio waves. Capable of delivering gigabit speeds with identical jitter and latency to fiber, Fixed Wireless Internet circuits can be installed at your business in a fraction of the time, and for a fraction of the cost, of competing technologies. Want to learn more about Fixed Wireless Internet? Check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8GvGOKCpnk

How Does Fixed Wireless Internet Work?

Fixed wireless Internet uses a dish antenna that is affixed to the roof of your company’s building and connected to your server room or router through a cable, and beams an Internet signal into your location through radio waves from the nearest tower.

how does fixed wireless internet work diagram

How Does Fixed Wireless Internet Installation Compare to Other Types of Internet?

The table below outlines how fixed wireless Internet compares to fiber, cable, DSL and satellite Internet connections:

Fixed Wireless Business Internet Installation Comparison Chart

So, what does a Fixed Wireless Business Internet installation look like?

 

Prior to Circuit Installation

In order to deliver high-speed Internet access, a Fixed Wireless Internet service provider must first confirm a client’s business location has an express line of sight (LOS) to a nearby Base Station (telecom tower). While different wireless business Internet providers may administer varying methods to confirm LOS, most Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) encounter situations where a site visit is sometimes needed to confirm serviceability. Typically, a roof access form (RAF) is required from the building owner or property management company prior to conducting a site visit. Assuming access is granted, on-site techs can then confirm LOS and test signal strength from the intended installation point.

Not sure how much bandwidth your business needs? Check out our simple guide by clicking here. 

Installing Fixed Wireless Internet Circuits

Every WISP has its own unique installation process and preferred equipment. For the purpose of this post, we will specifically examine GeoLinks’ ClearFiber™ Fixed Wireless Internet installations. Fully insured with coverage that meets property management and owner requirements, all GeoLinks’ installations are managed by our team of experienced technicians that consider visual aesthetics and building and city code compliance.

Fixed Wireless Internet Installation Equipment

GeoLinks Installation Equipment

Subscriber – When installing a ClearFiber™ circuit, a “Subscriber” unit, also referred to as Customer Premise Equipment (CPE), is placed on the roof of the client’s building. While Subscribers can vary based on the service ordered and location of the customer premises, the average GeoLinks’ Subscriber dimensions measure 24 – 36 inches in diameter and weigh between 5 – 20lbs. The Subscriber is responsible for transmitting the wireless signal from the Base Station to the customer premise, and vice versa.

Non-Penetrating Roof Mount – The Subscriber is mounted directly to a non-penetrating roof mount. This is a 36in self-supporting, square angle steel frame with a 60in x 2in diameter mast designed specifically for antenna installation. It does not damage or require any mounting to the roof.

Rubber Mat and Blocks – Included as part of GeoLinks’ installation is an outdoor anti-skid rubber mat, placed directly under the non-penetrating roof mount. This outdoor weatherized mat is used to protect the roof and measures 36in x 36in x 1/8in. Depending upon Subscriber height, 6in x 8in x 16in concrete blocks are placed evenly around the base to stabilize the roof mount. The average install requires 6 to 8 bricks, with each brick weighing about 30lbs.

Cable – Once the Subscriber is installed and secured, an exterior outdoor rated Cat5e cable is run through a pre-existing vent or access point of the roof directly to the customer’s network room. This cable is plugged into a Power Over Ethernet (PoE) power supply that powers the subscriber and delivers service to the customer.

How Long Does it Take to Get Installed?

Just like most business services, fixed wireless Internet installation periods vary from provider to provider. GeoLinks prides itself on having one of the industry’s shortest installation periods. Our expertly trained technicians can connect businesses in as little as 24 hours. For larger circuits, we average between 7 to 10 business days.

Why Should Your Business Install Fixed Wireless at Your Location?

When your company chooses GeoLinks’ ClearFiber™ Fixed Wireless Internet, you benefit from:

  • True Network Redundancy
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Guaranteed Speeds up to 10Gbps
  • 24/7 U.S-Based Customer Support & IT Expert Access
  • 99.9999% Uptime Guarantee backed by an Industry-Leading SLA

It doesn’t matter your size, whether you’re a single-location small business or multi-location enterprise corporation looking for a reliable fixed wireless Internet connection, we’ve got you covered.

Plus, GeoLinks isn’t just an Internet connectivity provider. We offer over-the-top Hosted Voice communications solutions and IP phones to keep your business always communicating.

Questions About Fixed Wireless Installations?

GeoLinks in-house Client Consultants are available to assist with any questions you may have regarding your business installation or service. To speak to a GeoLinks’ Client Consultant call (888) 225-1571 option 2.

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Contact a GeoLinks Internet Specialist Today

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What are the Best Rural Business Internet Options?

October 19th, 2020 [UPDATED]
Originally Published January 22nd, 2019

The Pros and Cons of Different Rural Business Internet Options

BroadbandNow Research reports that more than 41 million Americans don’t have access to broadband Internet. Similarly, a 2018 study conducted by Microsoft found that 162.8 million people still did “not use the Internet at broadband speeds.” Why? Inflated costs, poor availability, slow deployment, terrestrial restraints, and misguided land and airwave regulations contribute to a lack of broadband infrastructure in rural communities across America. Resulting inequalities in finances, education, and social status, encountered by those without access to the Internet versus those who do, has been coined the U.S. Digital Divide.

According to GeoLinks’GeoLinks’ Co-Founder and CEO Skyler Ditchfield, there are “Five Crucial Steps Needed To Close The U.S. Digital Divide.” The final and arguably most imperative item listed is America’s need to adopt a technology-agnostic, hybrid approach to broadband development. While technologies such as 5G and fiber were are prominent buzzwords, Fixed Wireless Internet, digital subscriber line (DSL), satellite, and cable all play an equally vital role in closing the divide.

When your company is deciding how to upgrade your connection (or get connected for the first time), it’s vital to compare business Internet providers and evaluate the services they offer. Learning about all the different rural business Internet options and their pros and cons will help you make a choice that’s right for your business. To that end, GeoLinks has put together this comparison guide of the different options available to rural businesses.

*Note that Dial-up Internet access is technically an option available in rural areas. Still, due to the requirements of always-on and reliable connections for business continuity in today’s marketplace, and with less than 0.3% of all Americans still using dial-up according to a study in 2018, dial-up isn’t discussed as a viable Internet option for rural businesses.

So, what technologies from business Internet Providers are available in rural America? Here are the pros and cons of various Rural Internet options:

Pros and Cons of Internet Options

Pros and Cons of Internet Options

Fixed Wireless Broadband Internet

Fixed wireless Internet providers serve high-speed broadband Internet access to a single location via radio waves. While capable of servicing suburban and urban communities, Fixed Wireless Internet is most widely known for reaching and connecting rural America quickly.

Pros of Fixed-Wireless Internet:

  • Quick to deploy – Fixed Wireless Internet networks are deployable in a fraction of the time of competing wired technologies. For example, GeoLinks ClearFiber™ fixed wireless Internet can be deployed in seven to 10 business days.
  • Cost-effective – by avoiding costly trenching, fixed wireless Internet networks are far less expensive to build and have a lower impact on the environment.
  • Widely available – because they use radio waves, fixed wireless Internet networks can reach areas “off the grid,” such as rural America.
  • Uptime – Fixed wireless Internet networks, like those engineered by GeoLinks, have multipoint redundancy built-in. Each circuit installed has at least one additional fixed wireless backhaul – often more – linking to a fiber connection, which provides always-on connectivity with 99.9999% uptime.
  • Unlimited Bandwidth – With ClearFiber™ fixed wireless Internet, your business gets unlimited bandwidth with no throttling or capping like satellite providers.

Cons of Fixed-Wireless Internet:

  • Line of Sight (LOS) – because circuits require direct LOS, trees or large buildings in the connection path can cause signal interference.
  • Bandwidth Cost – Bandwidth can be more expensive than DSL, Cable, and some Satellite providers.
  • dsl cable rural internet

    DSL Broadband 

    DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) broadband is a wireline technology that transmits data over traditional copper telephone lines installed to homes and businesses. Because it operates on pre-existing phone lines, DSL can be quickly installed when infrastructure is present.

    Pros of DSL Internet:

    • Accessible – because DSL runs through phone lines, it ‘sit’s more widely available nationwide. (According to broadbandnow.com, DSL has 90% coverage nationwide.)
    • It’s relatively inexpensive – the cost to install and maintain is less than many other broadband technologies, such as Fiber.

    Cons of DSL Internet:

    • Slow speeds – rural DSL speeds are generally between 128 Kbps – 3 Mbps.
    • Inconsistent network quality – because circuit quality relies heavily on the distance from an ISP’s ISP’s central hub, a significant problem for many businesses in rural areas, speeds and network reliability are inconsistent.

    Satellite Internet Vs. Fixed Wireless - GeoLinks

    Satellite Internet

    Satellite Internet beams data from your Internet provider to a satellite in space and then back to a dish at a user’s location. Historically, the technology’s primary use has been to connect businesses in rural areas that don’t have access to wired services.

    Pros of Satellite Internet:

    • Expansive availability – because it transmits to a satellite in space, it ‘sit’s available virtually anywhere on earth.
    • Decent speeds – delivering speeds up to 100 Mbps, Satellite is faster than DSL.

    Cons of Satellite Internet:

    • Latency issues – Satellite has inherent latency issues – this is especially problematic with video conferencing and VoIP applications.
    • Unreliable – circuit quality is susceptible to moisture (weather) and objects, such as trees and vegetation.
    • High cost – Satellite Internet is one of the most expensive broadband technologies on the market.

    cable broadband rural internet

    Cable Broadband

    Cable Broadband utilizes a modem to access the Internet through the same coaxial cables that deliver pictures and sound to a user’s television. Mainly used to service residential customers, cable networks are considered shared circuits.

    Pros of Cable Broadband Internet:

    • Easy and quick to install – because it uses existing infrastructure, it sometimes can be immediately available.
    • Faster – Capacity to be substantially faster than other types of broadband connections such as satellite and DSL.

    Cons of Cable Broadband:

    • Unreliable connection – Cable connections are shared with nearby users, causing performance issues, such as varying speeds, during peak usage times.
    • Rural limitations – due to the lack of infrastructure extending outside of urban communities, cable often is unavailable.

    cellular mobile broadband rural internet

    Cellular Mobile Broadband Internet

    Mobile broadband delivers Internet connectivity over a mobile network – the same infrastructure utilized by your smartphone. Mobile broadband is accessible via portable wireless hotspots and wireless modems from anywhere with a cellular connection.

    Pros of Mobile Broadband:

    • Easy access – assuming there is reception in the area, it has the potential to be immediately available.
    • Quick and easy install – the “plug and play feature” of this technology eliminates the need for physical cables, phone lines, or an electricity source.

    Cons of Mobile Broadband:

    • Inconsistent coverage – If you live in a remote area, you may not get cellular reception, preventing access altogether.
    • Unreliable performance – Average rural mobile speeds fall around 12 to 15 Mbps and fluctuate depending on location and the number of people connected to the network.
    • Capped data usage – To prevent network saturation, mobile broadband plans typically come with data caps. Overages can be expensive.

    flexible fiberoptic internet

    Fiber Broadband Internet

    Fiber broadband provides Internet access by converting electrical signals carrying data to light and sends the light through transparent glass fibers. It is one of, if not the most requested broadband technology on the market.

    Pros of Fiber Broadband:

    • Speed – Fiber can deliver multi-gig speeds making it one of the fastest broadband options on the market alongside fixed wireless.
    • Scalable and flexible bandwidth – once installed, bandwidth can be increased or decreased almost on-demand.

    Cons of Fiber Broadband:

    • Not available everywhere – Fiber is currently available in only 32% of the country.
    • Expensive and slow to deploy – fiber optic cable is exceptionally costly to deploy and requires trenching (often stalled by lengthy permitting processes.)

    Comparing the Pros and Cons of Rural Business Internet Options

    Rural Business Internet Comparison Chart
     

    While there are advantages and disadvantages to each Rural Business Internet option, these technologies can be strategically deployed to create a ubiquitous solution capable of delivering multi-gigabit bandwidth to communities across the country. This technology-agnostic, hybrid network approach is key to closing the digital divide.

    Ready to Try GeoLinks’ Rural Business Internet Option ClearFiber™ Fixed Wireless Internet?

    Request a Quote
     
     
     

    Need Internet Immediately?

    Talk with a GeoLinks Internet specialist now.
    Call 888.225.1571
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    LTE + Destination Based Failover: How to keep your phones and POS system connected

    October 16th, 2020 [UPDATED]
    Originally published on June 15th, 2020

    Ensure Point-of-Sale Transactions and VoIP Calls Always Go Through

    Before we walk through 4G LTE failover for business Internet connections, let’s take a brief refresher on SD-WAN.

    What is SD-WAN?

    What is SD-WAN?

    First, we need to briefly cover a software-defined network (SDN), as this is where SD-WAN has its roots. In an SDN, the control functionality is abstracted and separated from the network’s physical devices, so configuration and management are centralized. Instead of configuring a network box by box, the configuration is completed in one place and then pushed down to all the individual devices on the network simultaneously. The same principle applies to wide area networks (WANs) with SD-WAN.

    Software-defined wide area networks use software to control connectivity, management and services between data centers and remote branches or cloud instances. SD-WAN manages multiple connections—from LTE to broadband to MPLS and segments, partitions and secures traffic across an enterprise’s wide area network (WAN). Each business’ SD-WAN implementation is managed from a centralized orchestrator that monitors network activity and alerts your company and SD-WAN vendor to any issues.

    GeoLinks’ SD-WAN solution supports network security features including restricting and allowing traffic to and from specific websites.

    Two Types of SD-WAN Configuration: Active-Active VS Active-Passive

    There are two main types of SD-WAN setups.

    Active-Active Configuration

    In an active-active configuration, your company will have two or more WAN sources connected and online at all times. With both network lines always-on, your network traffic is routed over whichever source is best optimized for each individual application you’re using. If one line fails or drops in quality, SD-WAN prioritizes mission-critical traffic and instantaneously (and automatically) routes the data to the other line without any data loss. You and your staff often won’t even know this has occurred because there is no service disruption.

    Active-Passive Configuration

    In an active-passive configuration, your company will have just one WAN source active at any given time. When the primary pathway fails, data will failover to the secondary pathway.

    Benefits of SD-WAN

    To learn more about SD-WAN and ways your business can leverage the technology, read our article “Size Doesn’t Matter: SD-WAN Benefits Every Business Network”.

    Here are the highlighted top five benefits to your company when implementing SD-WAN:

    1. Cost Savings
    2. Bandwidth Elasticity
    3. Enhanced Quality of Service (QoS)
    4. Business Continuity
    5. Improved Data Security

    The powerful cost benefits of SD-WAN dominate conversations, so it’s easy to forget that the impetus behind SD-WAN development was business continuity — Internet failover, to be specific.

    What is Internet Failover?

    Internet failover is just what it sounds like: When the primary Internet connection fails, experiences packet loss or latency spikes, SD-WAN technology switches traffic over to a secondary connection. At a time when your business is increasingly dependent upon Internet connections to access vital computing and communications infrastructure and applications, you can see why business continuity is critical. It’s not only essential to maintaining productivity, but also for the consistent delivery of service to your customers.

    GeoLinks offers Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) wireless service as the recommended choice for Internet failover for most businesses using fiber optic or our own dedicated fixed wireless network.

    Why Choose 4G LTE Failover

    Why Choose 4G LTE Failover?

    4G LTE wireless is particularly advantageous as an Internet failover connection for several reasons, including:

    • Diversity: 4G LTE wireless does not rely on last-mile wired connectivity and offers an entirely diverse connection from a primary wireline connection.
    • Speed: 4G LTE is the wireless equivalent to a physical line with speeds averaging 10-20Mbps, with download speeds in the U.S. approaching 30Mbps and in some areas nearing 45Mbps, according to January 2020 research from Open Signal.
    • Responsiveness: 4G LTE wireless has both low latency and low idle-to-active times.
    • Cost Efficiency: From a failover perspective, the cost benefits of 4G LTE are considerable compared to additional wireline connections.
    • Omnipresence: 94 percent of North American residents, and 98 percent of the U.S. population, in particular, have access to 4G LTE. The probability of 4G LTE reaching all of your business locations is very high, even in rural settings.
    • Simplicity: Deploying 4G LTE as a backup is plug-and-play.

    How Can 4G LTE Failover Help You?

    Having a disaster recovery plan is essential to today’s businesses. Human-caused outages (construction accidents, cyberattacks, etc.) and natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires are on the rise. LTE-driven business continuity is a proven, affordable option for businesses of all sizes.

    Here are the most critical use cases for SD-WAN with 4G LTE wireless:

    Point of Sale (PoS): If your business is a retailer, restaurant, hospitality or entertainment company, processing electronic payments is the lifeblood of your business. If there’s a fiber cut, loss of power or any other disruption to your connection, 4G LTE can kick in so you can still accept credit cards or digital payments.

    VoIP Calls: If your business relies on data connections to carry voice calls (VoIP), you need to ensure that those calls continue to stay connected with high clarity. With SD-WAN and 4G LTE Wireless as a failover option, you can continue to make calls if there’s a disruption. Also, SD-WAN can enable primary and secondary circuits to be active simultaneously, enabling calls to proceed uninterrupted (i.e., session persistence) even if one of the connections goes down. (Plus, SD-WAN offers quality of service controls to make sure your voice calls are high fidelity.)

    At GeoLinks, we leverage a configuration that allows for destination-based failover to address these two mission-critical scenarios. As a Verizon Wireless Preferred Partner, GeoLinks offers a high-quality LTE connection via a commercial-grade machine-to-machine router that plugs into our SD-WAN device at the customer location. Because VoIP and PoS systems are low bandwidth applications, GeoLinks is able to offer this solution for $49 per month without incurring data overages.

    Ready to Disaster-Proof Your VoIP or PoS Connection?

    Talk with one of our in-house experts to see if 4G LTE failover is right for your business.
    Request a Quote
     
     

    Need Internet Failover Immediately?

    Get on the phone with a GeoLinks Internet specialist now.
    Call 888.225.1571
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    Closing the Homework Gap – GeoLinks Connects Borrego Springs Students to Distance Learning Program

    In rural locations throughout the country, the Digital Divide has long been easier to discern than in more densely populated locales. For Borrego Springs Unified School District (BSUSD) in San Diego County, Calif., the reality of this scenario has been highlighted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In one pocket of its jurisdiction, a concentrated group of students remained completely isolated from the district’s new online learning environment, with most of them unable to log on in any capacity. After exhaustive efforts to provide means of connectivity for its students, district officials contacted GeoLinks. Moving quickly, our network team engineered and deployed a 50Mbps/25Mbps circuit to the area, free of charge to the district and its constituents.

    “I grew up in a rural area similar to the one we recently connected for the Borrego Springs Unified School District,” said Skyler Ditchfield, GeoLinks CoFounder and CEO. “At GeoLinks, we’re doing our part to make sure that every child has equitable access to the internet. Without it, we might be hindering the growth of the next generation of great American innovators.”

    GeoLinks has focused deployment efforts on connecting rural schools and libraries throughout the state of California and beyond for the last several years. A proud member of the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB) and Corporate Partner of the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), Geolinks was the largest construction grant winner for Calif. K-12 schools and libraries four out of the last five years. Providing dedicated internet access throughout our network, we connect anchor institutions to enterprise networks at a fraction of the cost and timeframe required for fiber deployments.

    For more information on GeoLinks, including our efforts to close the Digital Divide, visit www.GeoLinks.com/ConnectAmerica.