In the past five years more and more people, and even some courts, have been classifying the Internet as an essential utility like electricity, gas, and water. “It has become something of a vexed question, yet the Internet is increasingly entering the category of essential utilities — a fact reinforced by the current pandemic the world is facing,” wrote Song Bac Toh in Forbes last summer.
Indeed, certainly during COVID-19 lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, Internet access became a basic need to work, live and thrive.
“We’re looking at something that has truly become a necessity for survival,” Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of the advocacy group Public Citizen told the Los Angeles Times in October 2020. “It’s critical to the functioning of society.”
Almost 3,000 Internet Service Providers in the United States
Unlike most of our utility choices, however, there are many ways that the Internet gets delivered to our homes and businesses. “Here's the thing, though: The Internet is delivered in a very different, more complex way than other utilities,” Toh wrote.
It can be confusing with BroadbandNow currently listing 2,811 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) across the country including 1,479 that offer fiber-optic and the promise of high-speed Internet.
When it comes to your local ISP that provides that last-mile service to your office or home, not all of them are the same. PS Lightwave in the Houston area, for example, operates a facilities-based network with over 5,500 fiber route miles and 1,600 on-net buildings.
Others are considered an ISP wholesaler, aggregator, or reseller who do not operate their own facilities but purchase all their services from a facilities-based ISP, such as PS Lightwave, before rebranding them and then passing them on to the consumer.
Advantages of Facilities-Based Networks
PS Lightwave’s customers, with 97 percent of total traffic running on PS Lightwave’s private network, gain some advantages by using a facilities-based network including consistent reliability, flexibility, privacy and security, speed, and support.
Here is a closer look at each advantage of a facilities-based network:
Facilities-based networks have greater reliability which translates into less profit-reducing downtime for your business operations. PS Lightwave utilizes 1,800 switches throughout the network and has 50 to 60 data rings to offer built-in redundancy to protect customers from downtime. Should a fiber become damaged or cut in the ring network, the data transition is not lost, but simply rerouted along the network.
Facilities-based networks can offer clients more flexible options, such as Dark Fiber, since they own the fiber. PS Lightwave Dark Fiber clients manage their own fiber equipment by leasing Dark Fiber routes that run in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Montgomery, and Waller counties. Dark Fiber customers get the speed, security, and reliability of the private network while receiving support and monitoring of the network by PS Lightwave.
PS Lightwave’s network is one of the largest in the Houston metropolitan area with a reach into seven counties, including the ability to easily link satellite offices in the following communities: Alvin, Angleton, Baytown, Bellaire, Conroe, Deer Park, Freeport, Katy, Kingwood, Lake Jackson, La Porte, League City, Magnolia, Missouri City, Pasadena, Richmond, Rosenberg, Splendora, Spring, Stafford, Sugar, Texas City, The Woodlands, Tomball, Webster, and Willis.
PS Lightwave’s all-fiber, privately-owned network infrastructure can deliver transport speeds from 10 Mbps to 100G, assuring clients the best network connections to the last mile. Speed is optimized thanks to a core network that uses switched fabric in a Layer 2 environment. The result is greater connectivity, lower latency and minimal hops. PS Lightwave customers can share information with satellite offices seamlessly without delays or disruptions.
Facilities-based networks are private and more secure than a network from a reseller that relies on public routes. PS Lightwave’s all-fiber network in the greater Houston area provides protection for sensitive client data and proprietary information. Industries such as the financial sector and healthcare can rely on a facilities-based network to protect customer financial information and confidential patient information.
Unlike an ISP reseller that is not in charge of their own network, a facilities-based network can offer an unmatched level of support and customer service. PS Lightwave’s Network Operations Center (NOC) is staffed 24/7/365 with technicians monitoring and servicing client’s networks. The NOC is equipped with sophisticated network management, monitoring, and analysis tools and staffed with Tier-1 and Tier-2 experienced operations teams. The NOC acts as the Single Point of contact to help clients solve any issues or answer questions. ISP resellers can only act as a go-between when problems occur for their clients.
Contact PS LIGHTWAVE today to see how your business or organization can be helped by Ethernet, High-speed Internet Service, VoIP, and Dark Fiber Routes over Houston's largest facilities-based, private 5,500 route-mile network.