Internet Connectivity

Following on from the last blog post, this one deals with Internet connectivity.

So as a business you can get some great deal from many providers, but before you do so STOP!

Now go and talk to your IT (Technology) Provider.

Although most broadband migrations go smoothly what is going to happen if it doesn’t?
Other things you need to ask/establish are

  1. Is Broadband enough or do you need another option
  2. Do you need a resilient/Redundant connection
  3. If yes to above, how is that going to happen
  4. Is the connection capped
  5. What happens when you reach the cap limit
  6. How easy is it to get support? Search the Internet to see customers experiences, these are likely all to be negative as we only ever seem to moan on line.  But are there good ones.  Talk to other businesses
It is highly likely your IT provider can supply broadband to you, so why not make this your first call. After all you already know how good their support is! And it is likely to mean you don’t have to speak to India to not get any service!
They will certainly give a better migration service than a broadband only supplier, after all they want to make sure you are happy with the whole experience.
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Happy Birthday to us!!

Today Limbtec is 12 years old, so we thought it would be good to see what was happening in 2002 when we started.

Operating Systems

Let’s start with Windows XP, when we started a new computing experience had just hit the streets, it was Windows XP, and it has lived as long as we have as a company.  Having said that most of our customers were still using

  • Windows 98
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows NT 4
We also had a few installs of Windows 95, and I do remembers looking at a Windows 3.11 system at some point, along with these we have also seen
Vista, 7, 8, 8.1
along with server 2003, 2008, 2012
This is without mentioning the work we have done on Mac both OS X, and it predecessor, and the few Linux/Unix issues we have dealt with.
Internet Connectivity

ADSL had really only just come out with blistering fast 2MB connections, although a lot of customers were dialing up (YES Really) on 56K connections, or maybe if they were a little posh might have an ISDN connection.  Currently sitting here on a FTTC connection at 76MB, having said that we also do far more online, not just with social media, but almost everything we do is reliant on an internet connection.
Storage
Servers had 10Gb or so of storage, and these we were replacing with servers with 40Gb of storage, now even the smallest of small business have 1TB of storage available to them, and probably even more than this
Although even small businesses had an advantage to having a Small Business Server, now a lot of these customers are using Office 365 and a nice fanless NAS box for on site document storage.
Backup of these were done by tape, DDS 4 or smaller, now for a lot of people the backup is done online into the cloud, and if it is an onsite storage it will more than likely be on to external drives.
Screen’s
Almost everyone had a crt screen (about 15″) sat on their desks, then LCD screens still around 15″, now we put out mostly 19 -21″ as standard and a lot of customers buying 24″ +.  Also seen the introduction of touch screens, which now with Windows 8 offers a new way of doing some tasks.
We have also said goodbye, to the floppy drive, and starting to see end of optical drives specially in mobile devices. Processors have become much faster, and with multiple cores, and memory, well that now comes in amounts never even dreamed of 12 years ago.
Now just wondering what the business IT environment will be in 12 years time?
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BT Again

Another slightly damp period and yet another blog post about BT.

To recap, earlier in the year, and so that I could get a stable Broadband connection BT changed the cable between here and the street side cabinet. That was fine whilst the sun was out, we have had a bit of rain over the last few weeks and so disaster struck!

Firstly our Broadband started dropping out, then our phone line was so unstable you cold not hear a thing.

Now my point here is if BT actually fixed the cable with what must have very dodgy insulation, then the change of cable and indeed the issues would then not happen.

So by the time it was organised for a report to be made to BT by our ISP, the circuit had dried out enough to enable the broadband to be considered to be stable.

I think this is a well it nearly is stable it still drops out but I guess losing your Broadband connection 3 or 4 times a day is better than only having a connection for 4 or 5 minutes a day!

The engineer did finally come out to sort the phone line, but he nearly didn’t. I have tested it and all is fine, well back to the weather.!

He did come out and did replace a bit of cable, I question why he did this, the answer is simple because for the last 18 months I have been complaining to the chief Exec of BT office.

Now my broadband – 18 months ago we moved to an ADSL 2 platform, because of the distance from the exchange to us, i wasn’t expecting any major speed increase but i have actually seen by 6.6Mb connection now deteriorated down to a measly 2.5Mb – I guess that is what BT call progress? If and when they start putting fibre down in Plymouth I guess we will see our speed disappear and revert back to dial up.

Honestly BT, you need to sort this out, along with all those other continual issues I know happen.
It must be cheaper to fix the issue than continually come and patch the cable up.

I am seriously considering switching my Broadband to a Business cable package, a little more expensive but hopefully a strong stable connection with some speed!

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BT

Why oh Why are BT so useless???

This week our telephone exchange (for our home phone) was upgraded from 20CN to the new 21CN (This is the new backbone of the BT infrastructure). This went really well for most of our customers, but our line took 24 hours to migrate, and then when it was complete our Broadband still didn’t work. They (BT) sent out a phone engineer who tested the line, and yes the phone worked. (We knew this) what I wanted was to get my Broadband working. I needed a Broadband Engineer! We phoned up the wholesaler who said they would pass our message on as it was obvious that the splitter at the exchange had failed, it was either that or that our filter had failed in the house (Something we had tested).
Once this was passed on, the fault was fixed, we are now on the new network. Now all I have to do is summons up the courage to move from ADSL to ADSL 2. To see what speed we can get out of the line.

But please BT so often you send out the wrong type of engineer, train up more Broadband engineers.

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