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Internet speed is a limited resource, yet consumer demand for bandwidth shows no signs of slowing.
Content streaming continues its explosion in popularity and according to one survey, 75% of hotel guests now wish to access Netflix when travelling.
Sufficient bandwidth is therefore necessary to serve the content users desire. To do this effectively, a network needs to manage its bandwidth distribution.
We look at the ways bandwidth can best be distributed around such facilities as hotels, care homes or schools, ensuring end users are satisfied and resources are used in the most efficient and effective way possible.
In general terms, bandwidth management is the manual or automatic process by which the available bandwidth (and thus the connection speed to the internet) is distributed amongst devices connected to a given network.
To any establishment, internet speed is always limited. Whether it’s the fastest fibre to an inner-city hotel, or shaky ADSL to a woodland campsite, there’s always a finite capacity.
That capacity has to be shared, with anybody connected to the network who needs it at any time.
But, especially in scenarios where the internet connection is slower, a few users can quickly consume all the bandwidth available.
This will result in a poor customer experience for those who don’t receive their fair share of the connection.
So, to ensure an optimal experience for all users, a form of bandwidth management is necessary.
Bandwidth can be managed using one of two methods: the dynamic or the static/classic approach.
Static bandwidth management is a limiting approach. A bandwidth limit is set for each endpoint or group of endpoints.
Dynamic bandwidth management is an automatic allocation approach. Bandwidth is allocated dynamically to each endpoint, depending upon usage requirements at any given moment. By guaranteeing a minimum bandwidth across the network, it also ensures no single endpoint can take up all the capacity.
Here’s an overview comparing the different approaches:
TRIAX Ethernet over Coax (EoC) creates an enterprise-grade gigaspeed IP network over the existing coax cables in a building or group of buildings. By re-using TV cables already in place, installation costs are significantly reduced, and it’s good for the planet too.
For ultimate flexibility, TRIAX EoC offers both Dynamic and Static/Classic methods of bandwidth management.
This gives an administrator complete control – the dynamic method to automatically make the best use of the available bandwidth, or the static/classic approach, which is useful in especially hospitality situations where up-selling is important.
Read on for some scenarios where Dynamic Bandwidth Management is an advantageous approach.
At a classic conference hotel the demand for internet connection comes from different areas of the hotel, all depending on the time of day. During the evenings the main demand for a good and fast internet connection will be in the individual hotel rooms where guests are watching IPTV, streaming movies, working on e-mails and so on. During the day, it will most likely be in the conference area where people are gathered.
If your bandwidth management is a classic limitation approach, you will have a lot of unused and unavailable capacity allocated to the endpoints in the hotel rooms in a situation where there is high demand in the conference area. With the Dynamic Bandwidth Management of the EoC system, the capacity not used in the rooms is made available in the conference area giving the guests a much better internet experience. And of course vice-versa during the evenings.
School / university
A similar situation could be described at a school or a university. There the major demand for throughput will be in the classrooms or lecture halls during lectures and in the common areas during intervals and lunch. In this situation EoC DBM will also ensure the bandwidth is dynamically allocated to the areas of most need without compromising the minimum availability at other endpoints.
Difference in hotel guest profiles
At a hotel you will quite often have a variety of guest profiles. Some are more digital than others. With the TRIAX EoC DBM you don’t have to limit the guests who have a high demand for throughput, because you limit all your endpoints to the same capacity. With EoC you ensure that every endpoint has equal capacity, but any capacity not used at one endpoint can be dynamically distributed to others and hence improve their user experience.
 Hospitality Wi-Fi Survey of Guests & Hoteliers, Hotel Internet Services, 2019
by Knud Madsen
An unreliable internet connection can sometimes be an unfortunate fact of life.
But when a poor connection starts to affect services like video calling or telephony, it’s more than just an annoyance.
It’s a hindrance to performing activity crucial to smooth business operations, like remote working or keeping in touch with friends and family.
And if you’re managing a network, or offering internet access as a service, it’s vital to ensure end-user experience is top-notch.
One means of achieving this is through Quality of Service (QoS).
In a city during rush hour, some traffic is usually prioritised over others.
As in the real world, where traffic lanes can be reserved for buses, emergency vehicles or VIPs, so too can network components such as switches and routers prioritise data traffic.
This standard of prioritisation is known as Quality of Service (QoS).
Data packets are identified and prioritised by their Differentiated Services Code Point (DSCP) classification.
Online activities that are more dependent on a good, stable internet connection and high throughput identify themselves with a DSCP classification in order to ensure an optimal user experience.
Services such as Voice over IP (VoIP) are amongst the highest priority, as telephony data needs to be transmitted in real-time with no delays.
Other real-time services, such as video conferencing or multimedia streaming, are also DSCP classified and can be prioritised accordingly.
QoS handles such prioritisation either automatically, or manually by a network administrator according to the needs of the organisation.
Implementing QoS ensures the best possible experience for end users. This results in fewer user complaints, and an efficient operation of business-critical services.
QoS is particularly useful in locations where bandwidth is limited or situations where the network load is high, since it aids in avoiding or managing congestion on the network.
By making the most efficient use of available bandwidth, QoS guarantees prioritised services the best available connection around the network and out to the internet.
Everyday tasks such as web browsing or file downloads are in turn maintained at ‘best-effort’ – that is, with no prioritisation.
Some examples of services covered by QoS are as follows:
VoIP – usually critical to a business; the slightest fluctuations in service can affect call quality.
Packet loss and latency need to be at an absolute minimum.
Conferencing – more than ever in 2020, services like Microsoft Teams or Zoom need to run with high stability and low latency.
Streaming and/or gaming – especially in hospitality situations where guests expect home-from-home internet and experience is all-important, streaming or gaming can also be prioritised.
It is nevertheless less sensitive to packet loss and higher latency, so has a lower priority DSCP classification.
Web browsing, file transfer, email etc. – as everyday online tasks are not reliant on a real-time stream of information, the effects of network congestion are not so critical.
Some services mark data packets with DSCP Class 0 (no priority); unmarked packets are handled at the same lowest priority.
All the values of gigabit IP networking, none of the costs of new cables: TRIAX Ethernet over Coax (EoC) is an enterprise-grade 1Gbps IP network over your existing coax cable infrastructure. By re-using TV cables already in place, installation costs are significantly reduced, and it’s good for the planet too.
Adding to a host of professional networking features, EoC Software 2.6.1.r145 introduces QoS traffic priority based on DSCP for all EoC devices.
By default, the EoC Controller automatically maps standard DSCP classifications to a priority queue of 4 levels.
QoS is one of many compelling professional networking features of TRIAX EoC.
To find out more about TRIAX EoC and how it ensures the best possible experience for end users, visit our online pages or contact your local TRIAX office.