Slow internet? Find out why

Posted: 4th October 2018 in IT Services

Internet Cable

Have you ever experienced frustrating delays from poor internet connection? Web-based systems like MiClub, MYOB and Xero are dependent on your connection to the internet to operate properly. To help better manage your network and avoid service errors, we are sharing five things we think all managers should know about connecting to the internet. 

WARNING! There are a few acronyms and technical terms used in this article. If you are unsure about any of the terms used, we’ve created a helpful glossary at the bottom of the page. Go to glossary>>>

Connecting to the National Broadband Network (NBN)

Once the NBN has been rolled out in your area you have 18 months to connect, otherwise you run the risk of losing all phone and internet services. Set for completion by 2020, you can find out when this network will reach you by heading over to the NBN Co. website and searching your address. Many media organisations tend to report on horror stories regarding the NBN, but once it’s up and running it’s usually a good experience. To connect to the NBN simply contact your internet service provider to upgrade to an NBN plan. If you want to learn more, you can head over to the NBN Co. website to find out how the NBN network gets to you. 

What sort of connection are you getting?

Fibre to the home, fibre to the node, fibre to the curb, fixed wireless or satellite. There are several different types of connections that often vary depending on the technological infrastructure surrounding your location. Some of these connections are better than others and can have a huge impact on speed. You can contact your internet service provider (ISP) to find out what type of connection you are getting. If you’re lucky enough to be in a commercial area, you may be able to connect to privately owned and operated fibre networks. Telstra, Optus, Vocus and TPG are the biggest and most common operators in this space. Unlike NBN plans, these carriers offer truly unlimited usage plans with no user contention but can come at significant cost. To learn more about different types of connections, check out the NBN CO.’s multi-technology mix.

What is the best way to resolve internet connection issues?

Use the resources you have or know who to ask. If you have an IT support service who is contracted to look after your network, consult with them as to what technology you’re getting and what limitations it may have. If you don’t have IT support, you can contact your internet service provider to help resolve the issue. There are a number of things that could be causing connectivity issues including weather, infrastructural limitations or even faulty hardware. To identify how slow your current connection is run a speed test. Compare this speed to your internet plan’s typical speeds to start diagnosing the problem.

How to choose an internet service provider (ISP)

All Internet service providers are not the same. Some providers oversubscribe users onto their networks more than others, leaving less bandwidth to go around. Early adopters of the NBN may have experienced this first-hand with connection speeds not meeting customer expectations. Although, recently ISPs have started publishing their typical peak speeds, which provide an indication of who isn’t oversubscribing the network. If your club has IT support, then consult with them to determine what type of plan will best suit your operational needs. 

The most effective way to choose a provider or plan is to understand your network requirements. Ask yourself the following questions. What are you using the internet for? How many people will be using your network? What is within your budget? How will your requirements change over the next 3 years? Your network requirements will reflect your average usage activity. To help you get a better idea of the type of network requirements for golf venues using MiClub products, we have laid out some recommendations in the table below. Keep in mind that these are just guidelines to help you understand what to look for! Not everyone’s situation or resources will fit perfectly within these three categories.  More members and employees generally means a higher data and speed requirements. 

MiClub Recommendations

 

Does your club need an IT support service?

Whether or not you need IT support depends on the scope of your organisation and the budget you have available. Professional IT services can get expensive, but if your internet connection is vital to your daily operations then it is a reasonable investment!  Medium to large sized golf organisations looking after 500 or more members should take IT services into consideration. These professionals can keep you functioning efficiently and help avoid unnecessary headaches from unhappy customers. If you’re in Western Australia and looking for technical advice, MiClub offers managed services that can assist with this. 

 

Glossary

Bandwidth

The capacity of a wired or wireless network to transfer data from one point to another in a given amount of time. Essentially, this determines how fast you can load a website page or upload a file to the internet. Different internet plans come with different bandwidths. A higher bandwidth is generally more expensive because you get faster internet speeds. 

Download

The process of receiving data over the internet. Downloading is the opposite of uploading. Many Internet or mobile plans will come with a set monthly download limit. Although unlimited downloads are much more common for modern internet plans. Every time you access the internet you are downloading information. 

Faulty hardware

This refers to the failings in the physical items used to setup a network such as cables, routers or connections. Checking your hardware is usually the first step in resolving an internet connection issue. Quite often the solution to fixing a drop out in internet can be re-inserting a loose cable.   

Fibre to the curb

This is an infrastructural setup commonly used in residential areas. Fibre optic cable is ran to a house and then connected to a residence using existed copper cabling. 

Fibre to the home

Fibre optic cable is ran all the way to the house and terminated at a network termination unit (NTU). A router is then connected to the NTU to provide internet. This type of connection supports having a battery installed, so in the event of a power outage you’re still able to make phone calls and use the internet. 

Fibre to the node

Fibre optic cabling is ran to a cabinet (node) that could be anywhere between two to several hundred metres away. The node then utilises existing or replaced copper lines to deliver a connection to a premise. 

Fixed wireless

A wireless method of connecting to the internet with a fixed dish mounted onto a roof. The dish is pointed to a mobile tower to connect to the internet using radio waves. 

Infrastructural limitations

Infrastructural limitations refer to the capability of the technological foundation in a location. An internet connection in a metropolitan area is much more reliable than a regional area because of developed cabling networks. A lack of cabling and mobile towers in regional areas means residents must use less reliable methods of connecting to the internet such as satellite. 

Internet plan

A service contract between a consumer and an internet service provider (ISP).

Internet speed

The speed in which data travels from the world wide web to your device. Commonly measured in megabits per second (Mbps) or kilobits per second (Kbps). 1000 Kbps is equal to 1 Mbps. An average broadband internet speed for Australia is around 25 Mbps.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

This is a company you pay to access the internet. There are hundreds of active ISPs in Australia. Top Australian operators include Telstra, Optus, TPG and iiNet. Call or visit an ISP’s website to subscribe to an internet plan that will give you access to the internet. 

IT Support Service

This is a business that provides professional information technology (IT) services to help you manage a network. Employed by most medium to large sized organisations, an IT support service can offer technical advice, set-up and manage a network.  

Mbps

Megabits per second. This is measure representing speed of data transfer. 

National Broadband Network (NBN)

This is Australia’s new broadband network. Currently in a roll-out phase around the country with completion set for 2020. This cabling network is designed to deliver fast and reliable internet services. 

NBN CO.

A government-owned corporation established in 2009. The NBN Co. is tasked with building and maintaining Australia’s new National Broadband Network.

Network

In computing, a network is a group of two or more devices connected by physical or wireless connection. 

Network requirements

Network requirements refer to an individual’s or organisation’s needs to operate effectively. Each computing network will have specific needs that reflect the business environment. For example, a business might need one computer with a reliable internet connection per staff member to operate effectively. 

Peak speeds

The top internet speed for a given internet plan. 

Private fibre networks

An exclusive, privately owned and operated fibre optic broadband network. 

Satellite

A connection method for regional and remote areas. A dish is installed onto a roof which connects to a satellite to secure an internet connection. This is considered the most unreliable technology the NBN are using to deliver internet. Signals are slower and affected by nearby weather disruptions.

Technological infrastructure

The hardware, software, network resources and services required to operate an information technology (IT) network

Unlimited usage

Unlimited data downloads. 

Upload

The process of sending data over the internet. Uploading is the opposite of downloading. Posting a photo to social media is common form of uploading. 

Usage activity

How you use the internet. This is could include sending/receiving emails, browsing social media, uploading videos to YouTube, or video conferencing with co-workers.