More and more of our clients are migrating off of traditional copper services from the likes of AT&T and other carriers and onto fiber-based services. Fiber services provide significantly more bandwidth and are far more reliable. On paper, it looks great. You can get a 10meg fiber connection with a PRI for less than 1k in most cases which is cheaper and faster than what many businesses have today. If you are a multi-site organization, you’ll be able to speed up the service to remote users and transfer data in a blink. It’s wonderful. But there is a caveat to getting this great service.
The carrier you choose to work with needs to have the fiber close by so they can run it into your building. If they don’t, then they have to pay for the construction costs to get it on your street. This can be tens of thousands of dollars. The big issue is that many carriers won’t tell you if they can actually get you the fiber without any construction costs until after a contract is signed. And then they will use that as leverage to get you to pay construction costs for sites that don’t have the fiber nearby. In addition to the cost, the timeline to get it done will be well over 6 months.
Our experience over the last couple years is that AT&T will over promise and under deliver. They tell you it can be done, only to find out one or more sites can’t be done without construction costs. One of our clients just had this experience recently and the resolve was to have a lower speed copper bundle put in place until fiber is closer. Or pay 25k to get it done now. Not what anyone wants to hear. On the other hand, we’ve had good experience with Comcast. What they quote is what they can deliver, and within 90 days. If they can’t do it, they tell you.
Fiber service is great, and I encourage everyone to move to it. Just be aware of the pitfalls.