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Broadband nightmares: The data centre hoping to eradicate copper connections

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If you’ve ever watched in awe at the length of time it took for a message to leave your inbox then you’re not alone. Broadband issues – primarily lagging speed – have been on everyone’s radar. And the consequences are being felt by many UK firms.

This has prompted a race for the best broadband location. The office geography debate is one HA Hosting is well acquainted with, managing director Rory Delahoyde told us. But we had a few extra questions to send his way regarding the broadband space – and here are his answers.

(1) Please describe your company in your own words.

Launched in 2008 by Stuart Stones and I, HA Hosting provides a comprehensive range of data centre colocation, managed back-up and server hosting aimed at helping businesses to grow from its state-of-the-art data centre based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. The company’s clients include many local IT support businesses, companies providing internet-based services to end users and online retailers.

(2) Where does Broadband fit into your business?

Our clients, and in turn their clients, use broadband internet connections to connect to services within our data centre. Data centres are responsible for hosting company websites, applications and to allow businesses to access cloud-based web services. To be able service many thousands of end clients simultaneously our internet connections need to be much, much faster than broadband speeds typically found in homes and businesses. Our clients rely on high quality broadband to be able to access the services we host so are indirectly essential to our business.

A big difference between our internet connection and broadband is that our bandwidth flows at the same speed in both directions, and unlike typical broadband services, our connections are uncontended ensuring the speed of the link can be maintained at all times.

(3) Would you consider it to be vital?

Absolutely. Without a high-speed broadband connection, our clients wouldn’t be able to function, and have access to the huge amount of data held in our data centre. It is essential for this connection to be available at all times, allowing our clients to access information stored on equipment housed within the data centre. Cloud services all rely on the end users having access to speeds which allow services to work, watching a TV show that is constantly buffering is no fun. So many services rely on broadband that it is now an essential part of everyday life at home and work.

(4) What type of broadband/supplier do you use?

Like many data centres we use multiple connections to connect to the internet. We have true fibre connections that have light travelling from end to end, unlike broadband fibre services which can switch to copper for the last part of the connection. These fibres are provided by Global Tier 1 internet providers as well as more UK specific Tier 2 providers. We have multiple connections to safeguard against problems. If we encounter a problem with one supplier, we are then able to reroute traffic across the others without compromising on the performance of the connection.

Want to know how the firm’s thoughts about broadband not just being a “rural problem”? Then continue reading.

Image: Shutterstock

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