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DeckerWright Corporation Blog

Why GIG Internet Doesn't Work

GIG

Verizon recently came out with its Gigabit internet connection service. We have several clients that have gotten the 1 GIG service only to find that they aren’t getting 1 GIG throughput when they run speed tests, including Verizon’s speed test. Why?

There are two main factors in explaining why clients aren’t getting 1 GIG speeds. The first is fine print. In speaking with the Verizon installers implementing 1 GIG service, they explained they certify 1 GIG service with speeds as low as 750 MGs. In visiting the Verizon FiOS web site, in the footnotes and fine print on the 1 GIG Internet speeds page, Verizon states they only guarantee speeds of 750 MGs on the 1 GIG service. That means the 1 GIG service is really Verizon marketing, and not what's getting delivered to customers. 

The second reason is technology. In order for a customer to achieve 1 GIG performance, everything between their device and the website or app they're using needs to support 1 GIG speeds. This is rarely the case. Typical device interface speeds are either 100 MGs (0.1 GIGs) or 1 GIG. Let’s look at a case where every firewall, router, wire and web site service being accessed has 1 GIG interfaces. If you're lucky enough to access that website when no one else is accessing it, you would achieve 1 GIG speeds. As soon as other people access the same internet resource, the 1 GIG pipe becomes shared, effectively reducing the throughput of your connection. To keep it simple, divide the pipe size by the number of simultaneous users to estimate the speed. New technology supports 10 GIG device speeds, but the technology is not widely deployed, and over 95% of the internet connected devices have 1 GIG or slower interfaces. When everyone was accessing the internet with 25 to 100 MG connections, 1 GIG interfaces were sufficient. Suddenly they are not.

The client’s local network and equipment also provide a bottleneck to achieving 1 GIG speeds. Many clients have older firewalls and networking equipment that only support speeds to 100 MGs. 95% of the firewalls we deployed at client locations will not support 1 GIG speeds. Firewalls, routers, switches and network cabling all have to be up to specs in order to achieve 1 GIG bandwidth from your wired devices.

Even after a client upgrades their physical infrastructure to support a 1 GIG connection, they are disappointed with the performance of their wireless devices. Turns out, they will need to upgrade their wireless access points and make sure their wireless devices support the latest 802.11ac standards. Most WiFi operates in the 802.11b/g/n 2.4 Ghz radio spectrum, which is where the majority of access points and wireless devices operate. Many of the newer wireless enabled devices will operate in the 5 Ghz frequency range which supports the 802.11a/n/ac wireless standards. Even if a client has a new access point and device that auto selects the right frequency and communications standard, WiFi technology adjusts the bandwidth according to the signal strength. The worse the WiFi signal, the slower the connection regardless of the WiFi technology.  To achieve 1 GIG on a wireless device, a client needs an 802.11ac access point, with a device that supports 802.11ac and the client must be standing within 10’ of the access point. If the client wonders away, or has walls between them and the access point, the speeds will drop dramatically.

If you're thinking of upgrading your internet connection to 1 GIG, contact DeckerWright Corporation so we can assess your network before you purchase the 1 GIG service to see if your network can support it.

Click HERE for more information on wireless technologies.

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