Connectivity, when to upgrade?

I heard a saying once that a game changing event was when you had a change by a factor of 10. Not sure where I heard that but it seems to ring true.

I had a fairly average broadband connection for a while and although I wanted to have a better one there were not that many practical alternatives at a decent cost (I wanted Yorkshireman price). Mine is at present on average between 9 and 15 meg download and up to 1 upload. Not very fast but it has met our needs and only cost us £15/month.

We switched from our previous supplier because when it stopped working as we had to spend weeks talking to people in India who we couldn’t understand and who in the end said they would have to send someone from BT to check our installation! …

So I decided to go back to BT as we could actually have a conversation and if they needed to come round they could just invite themselves. I am not here to big up BT but they have been ok with us, anyhow I digress…

Now as a video professional and I am sure the same applies to many other sorts of digital businesses, I want fast upload! The download isn’t massively important as mostly it is to service email and research, online ordering and payment etc. You get the occasional need for large software packages but they can be got overnight and if you are really strapped you can go out to the shops. Shock horror, I know that is a bit out of left field, actual real things, being obtained by going out into the real world? But let us get practical, if we need to supply large amounts of data to a client we can put it on a tiny hard drive, place in a jiffy bag and use the post. It can be in many parts of the world by the following day. Snail mail it may be but for large amounts of data it’s the way to go.

But I have been looking for something to reduce my upload times to YouTube and Vimeo; and as a recent Dropbox convert ( I love dropbox), give us a faster sync with all our dropboxes. We also use an online edit system and therefore extra speed means less time uploading rushes.

I was contacted by people who rang me up saying that they could provide 2meg up and 2 meg down. Not bad I thought, as although the download was slow we got a twofold increase in upload speed. The catch however was that they wanted silly money, £200 a month for this service. Suffice to say I didn’t take them up on the offer. I got a phone call from BT the other day telling us that we now had the option of BT Infinity (a fibre optic connection) and this would only cost us £30/month. What do we get for this doubling in cost?

Well an astonishing 35 meg down and 10 meg up! That is going to be a game changer, 10 times our current best upload speed. In real terms if our upload speed was 500k it is 20 times faster. Even to a Yorkshireman this is good value so I have signed up. No instal costs, new optical router, fab. There is a 100gig a month cap for this price but you can have unlimited for £35/month. I think the domestic rates are even cheaper see here.

I can get it at home too so I might have it there as backup and another 10meg upload stream for jobs that need quicker delivery.

If you are on the right exchange you can get 100 meg down and 15 meg up, this all starts to make it useful for delivery instead of posting hard drives.

It obviously depends on the amount of data you need to shift but I will do a follow up post when we have been using the new system for a while to assess the real world impact.

Exciting init?

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