The Guam Tech Center is one of the few office spaces on the island of Guam that has high-speed internet via broadband.
Let’s see what that really means.
What we call high-speed broadband internet service has become a necessity in our world. Stable, dependable, reliable high-speed broadband, that is typical, land-based and utilizes multiple very thin fiber-optic glass or plastic cables bundled together into a “cable” from the service provider to a terminator device at your location. This device will typically convert the fiber optic to CAT 6E cable or something similar. From there, the CAT 6E cable is distributed throughout the building which houses your and other computers. The cable will physically attach to your computer from a wall outlet, or through a WIFI device.
Most people don’t know that the WIFI itself is speed limited depending upon the device. Most cell phones and tablets cannot handle speeds in excess of about 200 Mbs – so a speed limited WIFI is not a problem because most WIFIs can handle in excess of 200 Mbs.
Why Do We Need High-Speed Internet?
Modern applications themselves are larger and obviously data and data-streams are larger. We have a lower “coefficient of patience” for hardware and software than we used to. And humans have more demands on our time than ever before, and don’t want or need to use our precious time waiting on hardware and software!
But let’s talk about speed. What exactly is high speed? Does the number even matter? If you have anything close to 1Gbs + you are typically ok. Many service providers such as the Guam Tech Center provide 10 Gbs.
But, do you really care what the number is?
What you really want to do is be done with it about as fast as you hit the button, right? When you get used to it (and it doesn’t take long!) and then it fails, you want it fixed ASAP!
Many clients of the Tech Center will be multinational companies that need to do televideo conferencing with other offices worldwide and transfer a lot of data to satisfy THEIR customers’ needs and keep their headquarters in the loop.
My Story – Not Getting the Internet Speed I Was Paying For
We had been paying for “high speed” broadband at our company location since November 2018. In January 2019, it appeared that online response time was longer, the video resolution degraded from HD in our teleconferences and became jerky, and audio quality was done, downloads took FOREVER, and uploads were even worse! We didn’t even have smart TV on the line.
During this time (January 2019) I downloaded a speed testing app that not only tested the speed, but logged associated data such as date and time, IP addresses on both ends of the text, latency, Jitter, upload speed, download speed, and other technical stuff they could use to troubleshoot. . .
So, I called customer service – they purportedly did line tests (automated of course from their desktop,) and reset the modem. . . all of this was done via AI of course. . . but it didn’t resolve the problem. So, I convinced them (no easy task!) to send a technician to the office. The technician did tests at the modem (cable side) and determined that we were getting only about 20% of the speed we were paying for!
They replaced all of the cable and appurtenances from the street into the office building up to and including the modem! But it didn’t make a difference. They decided to call the line technicians because they determined the slowdown was somewhere in the network. They indicated that a line supervisor would call. . .
I attempted to get them to take the data I had collected, but there was no interest.
It Pays to Measure! (Or Work With Someone Who Does it For You.)
I repeated the above attempt to get the problem resolved about every 3 or four weeks until May 2019 with no increase in network speed (and no calls from a supervisor!)
Finally, I decided to contact the broadband provider’s corporate offices to see if I could get any one’s attention. Amazingly, I did get their attention!
For about the next week, we had technicians working all over the area, including in front of our building. I talked briefly with one technician that indicated they had found a variety of physical problems throughout the area.
And amazingly, a supervisor introduced himself to me and indicated that corporate had instructed him to provide me with his phone number and asked me to call him if there were any more issues.
To date, we have been served with 95 to 97 percent of the speed we are paying for, which is 1 Gbs.
Throughout this endeavor, someone had the temerity to ask why we needed more than 200 Mbs. . . They had no idea the bandwidth that two-way High Definition (HD) video uses (sometimes we have up to 5 people from different locations), not to mention high-quality audio. Most of our sessions are recorded to an offsite location (more bandwidth.) Then there are the multi-gig downloads for various users and software upgrades as well.
Our experience indicates that 1 Gbs is a minimum required for the business.
We will upgrade to the next level of service as soon as it is available and cost-effective!