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Having difficulty taming broadband connections?

Published: 11 June 2019

Broadband technologies such as ADSL2+ and VDSL2 have revolutionised the connectivity market by offering high bandwidth with quick installation times and low costs. However, broadband, particularly copper-based DSL remains “a bit of a wild animal, making it difficult to tame” – in the words of one service provider support agent we interviewed.

Service providers are increasingly expected to build reliable networks from this lower-cost technology, which often exhibits ‘soft’ faults such as sudden drops in bandwidth which can negatively affect user experience and can be red flags for more serious issues later.

Customers are looking for the perfect mix of faster speeds, high service quality, reliability and value for money in business broadband services. Although broadband is not necessarily a product to deliver that ideal mix, nearly all companies are heavily reliant on it to ensure smooth operation of business functions and processes. Consequently, customers need to know that their service provider can meet these requirements and respond to any issues quickly and effectively.

The last thing that any service provider needs is to be caught out with a frustrated customer whose productivity is suffering, resulting in a decline in loyalty and retention.

Failure to manage effectively

Broadband connections are unpredictable and difficult to manage, so service providers are rarely able to offer a compelling set of guarantees on broadband services. It’s difficult to rely on traditional monitoring systems as they spot outages, but they miss lines that are occasionally unstable or those that have dropped below contracted speed services.

A circuit which appears to be ‘up’ can still be experiencing hidden issues which reduce performance. This is usually because of local interference which impacts line quality and reduces broadband speed. With lack of visibility of what’s really going on beneath the surface, service providers can’t be proactive. The risk of customers walking away if speed and quality issues aren’t resolved quickly is high.

How can broadband connections be kept in check?

Highlight's Broadband Clarity is the ultimate tool to tame unruly broadband connections.

Broadband Clarity provides visibility, alerting and reporting on the speed and stability of rate adaptive broadband connections which enables service providers and customers to identify slow line issues and resolve them quickly.

Highlight learns the speed of an individual broadband line, then automatically applies an appropriate threshold to set the minimum acceptable speed of service. This enables service providers to efficiently offer a guaranteed broadband service over thousands of connections. Through Highlight’s real-time wall board and alerting engine, service providers can be the first to know when a line drops below critical speed and get to the root cause quickly and efficiently. Additionally, retrospective reports are available for Account Managers and Service Managers to review the historic performance of a broadband estate, identifying trends before they become issues.