For years the business phone companies in Southern California have been telling business owners and IT directors that using any sort of cable Internet solution in a business environment is a bad idea because cable does not have any quality of service ("QoS") and is an inherently "shared" resource meaning a business would never get the data throughput they were promised.
Well that argument is certainly still being waived around by the telcos but after experiencing the successful use of cable Internet in their homes, few business owners or IT directors have a problem with the idea of backing up the wide area date network for their business with a professionally aggregated mix of coax cable providers.
But since all the cable companies have different service areas across the country, most businesses are hesitant to try an aggregated cable backup solution because of the problem of having to do all the aggregation in-house and then keeping track of individual cable company invoices.
Fortunately there are cable aggregation companies available to businesses that want to try an aggregated cable solution to backup or augment their main MPLS wide area network or "WAN". Of all the cable aggregation companies to choose from, few have the "one stop shop" success that has been found by Bandwave Systems out of Philadelphia.
To learn just how a coax cable solution works when backing up or aggregating an MPLS network we recently interviewed Tom Azelby, Managing Director of Bandwave.
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Dan Baldwin: Today I'm speaking with Tom Azelby, the founder and managing partner of Bandwave Systems, a nationwide business broadband provider that integrates and aggregates all carriers and cable operators and technologies, DSL, T-1, cable, fiber, Ethernet, wireless and so on, so that businesses with multiple locations are provided a complete nationwide network solution with just a single point of contact. Tom, thanks for speaking with our audience today.
Tom Azelby: Thanks for having me, Dan.
DB: Tom, for years, IT directors have been led to believe that an MPLS network was the perfect solution to connect a nationwide multi-location business over a single wide area network, or WAN, but for multiple reasons, your company, Bandwave Systems has been brought in by MPLS carriers to augment and/or backup the MPLS solution they were selling a business.
Question #1: Why are MPLS carriers bringing Bandwave into their solutions?
TA: Well, I think one of the big reasons today is network redundancy, and coax cable is a diverse pathway to traditional Telecom infrastructure, so the Bandwave Cable -Connect product is a perfect fit for a redundant Internet connection.
The next reason Telecom Consultants and Carrier Sales Reps are coming to Bandwave is due to our experience. We've been in data aggregation since 2000. We were one of the first nationwide DSL aggregators. Today as a cable Internet provider or a cable aggregator, we have the experience, the relationships, and all the systems in place to provision and manage Nationwide Cable Internet Connections, Our main marketing message is one contract, one bill, one customer support, and we do that for Multi Site Enterprises using our partnership with all the cable providers Comcast, Time Warner, Charter, Cox, Brighhouse, RCN, Cablevision, Suddenlink, Mediacom (MSO’s).
Another reason a carrier rep who is marketing an MPLS network might come to Bandwave is because certain locations might not justify the cost of a 3 meg MPLS connection. The carrier rep might need to fill in some spots at some of the more remote locations, and that's where we can come in, Bandwave, with a nationwide cable coax Internet solution, gives them high bandwidth at a low cost and carrier rep is assured that he has the Bandwave support team managing that connection.
Sometimes it can be just to back up the MPLS, but at other times it could be just to fill in some of the holes that don't justify the primary carrier's MPLS connection. So sometimes the Carrier Rep may have to give up some smaller remote locations to get the main solution delivered.
Question #2: Can you share with us a couple case studies where Bandwave has augmented or backed up a carrier MPLS?
TA: Sure. One opportunity we had was a nationwide CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier). They were delivering an MPLS to a petroleum company at multiple locations across the country. Each office regardless of their size was utilizing a lot of bandwidth at each of these sites.
They needed at least a 6 meg connection. At a majority of the offices, the pricing justified a 6 meg MPLS connection, but as I stated before, they had a few locations, I think there were about 25 that were remote small offices. They weren't open all the time, but they still had the same bandwidth needs.
We were able to provide the cable connection at each of those locations. Now the CLEC had already deployed Cisco AXA appliances, so basically we needed to deliver the cable Internet connection and they could plug them right into their devices and it was up and ready to go into their network. That was one opportunity.
Another case study is a property management company in New York City. They manage numerous facilities across New York, and they do constant video and credit card transactions, and they run around the clock.
They're on an AT&T MPLS, but because the network applications are mission critical they needed a diverse Internet pathway. Bandwave delivered a secondary cable coax connection to each facility, our cable-connect product. What was nice about the cable connection and the AT&T network, they have the ANIRA product so the Bandwave cable connection was a perfect fit for that network.
I have a third case study which is a little bit different. We're always looking for these unique opportunities. Sometimes they have to be presented to us and we find out that Bandwave is the perfect fit.
A large Midwest medical facility. All their medical facilities throughout that region are on tier 1 MPLS networks, but they have a large base of remote users from their homes. These hospital administrators and nurses need to access the hospital network.
Due to compliance issues, the IT Department did not want them accessing the hospital network on their home computer connection. They needed to build a secure IP VPN back to the hospital's network on a separate IP cable connection.
The IT team at the hospital wanted one company who could provision, bill and support a few hundred of their remote personnel sites. To deploy the network, five different cable providers MSOs were needed.
By coming to Bandwave, we were able to aggregate all those cable providers, Time Warner, Comcast, Cox, Charter and Armstrong give them the one contract, one bill, and network monitoring. That was an opportunity that we would not have generally targeted, but when it was presented to us we were a perfect fit.
Question #3: What are the ballpark costs associated with backing up a carrier MPLS solution with aggregated DSL, cable or other? In general what percentage increase in the overall solution are we looking at?
TA: The price range for us to come in with a backup connection with DSL or cable can run anywhere between $79 and $199. All our pricing includes the quoting, the consulting, the provisioning, the monitoring, the 24/7 Helpdesk support, unified billing, that's all included in those prices. For a redundant connection or a backup connection, or for that matter a primary connection, we're definitely within the budge for most businesses.
Question #4: What are the extra IT resources needed on the part of the customer to support broadband aggregation backup to an MPLS network?
One of the big selling points to MPLS is that the "carrier does it all". Will integrating an aggregated broadband backup solution to an MPLS network create solution management challenges for the business or invite "finger pointing" problems from the MPLS carrier?
TA: The first one I would address that as having all your eggs in one basket today is not feasible in today's network environment, but one network, one connection and you have only one failure point. We believe network redundancy is key!
A professional IT Department can always manage additional network components. Is there a little more complexity and cost adding network redundancy? Yes, but if your ISP or Data Provider has been doing it for a while, has the experience, the proper carrier partnerships, these added components shouldn't be much of a challenge.
One of the benefits too that we do, we monitor all our connections. If the circuit is down, we own that problem and we make sure that we address it.
DB: And it sounds like Bandwave has the history going back almost a decade of aggregating the different vendors, so as where the customer might in the past have to handle four or five different cable counts, now Bandwave is doing that all from a single point of contact.
TA: That's correct. We interface with all our cable providers from Comcast to Time Warner, Cox, Charter, Brighthouse, Cablevision. We're very familiar with their support teams and their protocols, and we utilize various tools and we're delivering a pretty unified service.
DB: Question #5: Is your MPLS backup solution really carrier agnostic? Are there some carriers that just don't work well with others? How have you been able to overcome those problems?
TA: When specifically talking about the cable footprints, we have to work with all the providers because the cable providers all work within their own territory. If we want to provide coax, we do have to work with that provider in that territory.
As far as the partnering and staying with a specific carrier sales team who is trying to deliver an MPLS solution to their client with redundancy, I really don't know any carriers today that we wouldn't work with. We've been around a long time, and I think our relationships with various carriers, we're pretty confident with our team working with any team.
Learn More for a Bandwave Authorized Agent, Call Us!
To learn if Bandwave’s coax cable aggregation management solutions could back up or augment your MPLS network, please contact BaldwinTel, your local Bandwave Systems authorized agent.
We specialize in helping Southern California business customers in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario and beyond. If we set you up for our free 45-minute consulting call (click here for details) http://www.baldwintel.com/free-offer.html we might be able to solve your problem for free!