WAN Optimization Toolkit: An End-User’s Buyer’s Guide

With the publication of the latest Telecom Association WAN Optimization and Buyer’s Guide tool kit, Bandwave Sytems is flattered to be referenced as having expertise in WAN optimization and sourcing cable aggregation solutions. As the winner of the 2012 Partner’s Choice Award for cable aggregation, we are confident in speaking to the benefits of cable and the need for a true managed service. With the advent of DOCSIS, cable internet speeds have blossomed from 3 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up to 100 Mbps down and 15 Mbps up. While cable Internet was originally considered a “residential grade” product only, today “business grade” cable solutions are considered rock solid by most business cable customers.

The primary hurdle that plagues cable as an enterprise solution is footprint. If all 70+ independent cable companies were combined into one organization they would still only cover 70% of the US marketplace. This is reminiscent of the early DSL days when the technology was proven but there were no cross-connect agreements, making aggregation nearly impossible. That problem was solved, but cable companies have primarily played in their own sandboxes—no national cable aggregation effort has of yet been successful.

Another challenge with cable-based network connectivity are it’s “asynchronous” speeds meaning the upload is always much slower than the download speed. This can be mitigated to some degree by “bonding” several connections together using special bonding appliances and software. In general, cable speeds are so expansive (averaging 14 Mbps by 4 Mbps) they still crush the competition. Dollar-for-dollar, coaxial cable is generally acknowledged as the most cost effective starting point for any enterprise wide WAN optimization project. For this reason Bandwave has invested time and energy in developing the deep expertise necessary to incorporate cable coax as a fundamental technology for completing an enterprise WAN optimization project.

The top 20 business cable providers include: Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Charter, Cablevision/Optimum, Bright House, Suddenlink, Mediacom, Wide Open West, CableOne, RCN, Atlantic Broadband, Armstrong Cable, Midcontinent, Service Electric, MetroCast, Blue Ridge, WaveDivision, General Communications, and Buckeye CableSystem. Other than the top providers the remaining companies have relatively small “footprints” and are virtual monopolies in their service areas. This means exceptional customer service is not really required to stay in business, as many lean on the consumer market that doesn’t have the same mission critical applications to support. Incorporating cost effective cable on a regional, super regional or national basis requires a managed service overlay to handle every detail. This includes service availability requests, build out project proposals, month-to-month management, detailed progress reports and a single detailed monthly invoice. Bandwave also provides management of the coax cable invoices already billing in the client’s name. While Bandwave is happy to be the wholesale customer of record for cable aggregation services, if partners wish to remain the customer of record but have Bandwave manage the invoices and network support, that option is available.

Bandwave offers access to 60+ cable providers as well as the complete range of management services, removing the barriers that have existed in sourcing coax cable on a national basis.