Bandwidth Billed on Average Monthly Usage
A major concern for many of my CIO colleagues going into this year is the acquisition and management of more Internet bandwidth. This has always been an issue but last year we saw our students devour all of our available Internet for video driven purpose. Entertainment was the dominant player but video communication finally took off as they discovered Skype and various video chat options. So what are we to do. Not all of us have access to affordable subsidized Internet pipes so we consider how many more 100’s of MBytes we can afford. Luckily I have an ISP relationship with Freewire Broadband that focuses on how to provide the best solution for what we really need. And what we need is maximum bandwidth from the hours of 3:00 pm to 2:00 am. Unfortunately that is also a high demand period for the majority of their customer base so excess capacity was not the solution. So creativity came into play as they crafted a plan to charge me based on average usage for the month using a usage reading every 30 seconds throwing out a top end percentile.
We left my minimum usage where it currently resides at 100 MB and set the upper limit at 300 MB. I will pay market price for every MB over 100 that I average. I’m thinking that will be around 200. Both sides are entering into this with unknowns and either side can back out. Our goal is to pilot this for the first semester to see if this could be a model available to other university customers. I question how my ISP can acquire the extra bandwidth when they will be forced to purchase it on a burst rate contract. But it sounds like the big upstream Internet pipes have the flexibility to offer this so I have hope that my ISP can work their overall usage into a solid business model. As I wonder about the dynamics of the Internet bandwidth market, I wonder if residing on the West coast next to many timezones of Internet dead ocean may contribute to more affordable bandwidth as the eastern timezones start to drop off into the evening. Whatever it is I am grateful for the opportunity and excited by the potential.