It's time for the Gigabit reality

It's time for the Gigabit reality

Jon Nowell, Head of Innovation

Jon Nowell, Head of Innovation

The demand for higher bandwidth connectivity shows no signs of stopping - Ovum predicts that in the next three years alone, business demand for 1Gb+ speeds will increase by 50 per cent, forming around 60 per cent of all connections. This is supported by insight into our own customers’ bandwidth demands – as recently as March our network reached a new peak of 2.7Tb of data, in stark contrast to just 0.9Tb in 2009. This tells us that demand for bandwidth is increasing exponentially, and we expect this to double again in the next 12 months.

So, what is causing this monumental change in businesses demand?

Bandwidth-consuming video is now becoming an integral part of business communication and placing further demand on networks. In addition to streaming video content over the internet, businesses are increasingly making use of video as a key collaboration tool, holding facetime conference calls through apps like Skype for Business and Google Hangouts. As we move to HD, 4k and even 8k, these bandwidth demands will inevitably increase in future.

Cloud is also a big driver behind growing bandwidth demands. According to Gartner, the Public cloud services market is expected to grow by 18 per cent this year, driven largely by cloud infrastructure services (IaaS) and cloud application services (SaaS). Well on the way from on premise hardware and recurring software licences, SMB and Soho businesses are now running essential functions such as computing, BI, storage, collaboration and CRM in the cloud. However, these organisations still expect the same on premise experience from in-cloud services.

Despite these drivers, high levels of bandwidth remain prohibitively expensive and out of reach for most businesses in the UK, the vast majority of whom are small businesses. For these businesses, the current approach is to upgrade your package as bandwidth needs to increase. This can become a regular headache for the IT department, when upgrades should be as pain free as possible. High bandwidth Ethernet is the best solution to meet these new demands at a price point that businesses can afford.

Dark Fibre Access (DFA) infrastructure will play a key role in supporting better, faster Ethernet for UK businesses. That’s why we are particularly excited about its potential to deliver the connectivity to meet growing demands and truly realise the Gigabit reality businesses are hoping for.