Source: Comms Dealer February 2010
All you probably need to know is that BTW are
retiring their central pipes in favour of Ethernet hand-offs to ISPs and
at the local exchange level they are upgrading the equipment that
connects subscribers to their network so that they can offer faster,
better quality broadband.
We have had a number of calls from Partners and
prospects that have been told that they should be buying network
directly from BTW now they have launched IPStream Connect. To try and
help them we have put together a spreadsheet that includes all the BTW
costs for setting up an IPStream Connect redundant host link. You type
in how much you are currently paying for bandwidth and the formula then
calculates the break-even point, payback period and savings thereafter.
Results vary but I have yet to see an example with average usage and
under 1300 lines that ever breaks even.
True, set-up charges are lower than IPStream and you
are only committing to 10Mb increments but with IPSC you are paying to
rent the interconnect as well the bandwidth. Also you will need to apply
for an AS number for your own IP numbers and organise peering and
transit. At least one carrier-grade router will be required and you will
then need to pay to host and maintain it.
Of course BTW want to sell you as much bandwidth as
possible so they may not impress upon you the need to invest in traffic
management. A single ADSL2+ broadband line that you may have sold for
around £25 pcm will cost you over £1000 per month if used at full
capacity by your customer. A few rogue customers and you could soon be
out of business. Griffin has invested over £1m in Deep Packet Inspection
(DPI) and traffic management systems, without which we would not be
able to operate an efficient and profitable business. These tools are
also extended to those of our customers preferring to pay for broadband
tails and bandwidth separately.
Of course there are other broadband network operators
besides BTW and an aggregator will connect to all of them giving you a
choice of products and prices as well as resilience options and the
ability to move seamlessly between networks. Are you really going to
invest in the infrastructure to connect to all of these networks and
write the software that will enable you to order lines, manage your
broadband estate and diagnose and fix faults?
Dealing directly with carriers is difficult but it
could well still be the right thing for you. You may want to get some
good advice before deciding on a course of action that could end up as a
very expensive mistake.