A Network Survival Guide for Tough Economic Times

A Network Survival Guide for Tough Economic Times

In any business, tough economic times call for tough decisions. In the case of IT, many companies are asking IT professionals to increase efficiency and speed with less money. However, as your network needs and the number of technological devices and applications grow, you'll require more bandwidth than ever before. For IT departments, achieving the desired objectives with lower budgets has proven to be extremely difficult and some creativity is required to achieve the objectives.

The good news is that by working with a network broker like NEF, IT professionals can use the following five tactics for reducing costs while achieving the desired results.

Look at replacing the LEC with an alternative provider
In many cases there are dozens of provider options above and beyond the local exchange carrier (LEC). NEF representatives know which carriers have fiber near-net and which will provide options to increase bandwidth for a lower cost than the LEC, making replacing the LEC with an alternative fiber provider an easy decision.

Leverage dark fiber and inexpensive hardware for metro connections
By leveraging dark fiber and managing the connections in house, enterprise customers with high bandwidth needs within a metropolitan area can easily get the bandwidth they need without additional monthly operating costs. Because the optical gear required to light dark fiber has become very easy to use, more and more companies are sourcing management in-house, rather than outsourcing it.

Renegotiate IP contracts- rates are at all time lows
Remember that in a tough economy all businesses are struggling, even providers. This makes for a great time to negotiate the best rates as carriers are trying their best to attract customers and finish out the year with strong revenue numbers. In fact, the pricing landscape for IP services has changed radically in the last 12 months. There are now several high quality national providers that will provide IP for under $10 per meg with a commitment of 100 meg.

Provide your own loop to data centers and IP PoPs
If IT professionals determine that their IP connections are from a national provider, they should take a look at their contract to determine port cost (the cost of the IP) and loop cost (charge for local loop access to your location). In many cases, IT professionals will learn that their national provider used the LEC for the loop, which is rarely the least expensive option.

Most carriers will also mark up the cost of the local loop to cover administrative costs.  Getting some competitive quotes from alternative access providers determines if providing one’s own loop can save money. This is known as customer provided access and in many cases can save IT professionals up to 30% on their total IP charges.  If terminated in a carrier hotel it also provides the ability to run multiple providers over a single local access loop with simple cross connects.

Optimize your network to combine circuits onto one common platform
It’s important for IT professionals to audit their network to make sure they are not being billed for inactive circuits. By looking for areas where circuits can be consolidated onto one platform and taking notes on expiration dates, IT professionals can ask their provider for a new contract with reduced rates.

Keep your applications running fast and keep your costs low. Contact NEF to learn how we can help you find a robust and reliable network that fits your needs. Whether it is a dark fiber network or lit service solutions, we’ll help you find the best price on the right connectivity options for your business.

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