How to reduce internet congestion for your business

June 2nd, 2021 - Get new posts sent straight to your inbox, click here. Heidi Kraak

There are few things as disruptive to workplace productivity as a slow or congested internet connection. Whether you’re in the middle of a teleconference meeting and the speaker starts to glitch, or you’re trying to send a large file to another office and your upload capacity isn’t coping, network congestion is insidious and has the potential to affect all areas of business.

As business dependence on connectivity continues to grow, it will become increasingly important for businesses to not only select an internet plan that can meet their needs, but also select an internet service provider (ISP) that purchases enough bandwidth to support all their end users – including your business.

While a completely congestion-free internet experience cannot be guaranteed, there are certainly steps your business can take to minimise its impact on operations.

What causes internet congestion?

Before we delve into the causes of network congestion, it’s important to note there are a host of reasons your business may be experiencing slow internet, including hardware issues, your connection type, the internet plan or bandwidth profile you selected and much more.

However, depending on your internet service provider, network congestion could very well be contributing to any disruptions or slow speeds your business may be experiencing.

To understand the causes of network congestion, you need to understand how ISPs purchase capacity on the network. In short, NBN Co does not sell individual connections to residential or business customers – instead, ISPs purchase capacity – referred to as Connectivity Virtual Circuit, or CVC – from NBN Co, which is then shared between all the ISP’s customers.

If ISPs purchase enough CVC to meet the needs of all their customers, it’s unlikely their customers will experience network congestion. However, purposefully purchasing as little CVC as they can get away with is an easy way for ISPs to maximise their profits. This practice can be a risky calculation – ISPs are betting on the assumption that not all of their customers will require a continuous data stream at any given time. However, ISPs don’t always get this calculation right. This leads to network congestion, which is particularly common at ‘busy’ times of the day. Take evenings, for example – lots of people finish work, come home and want to stream movies, music or television shows. If their ISP has oversubscribed the network, the end customer will experience lagging or disruptions.

How can my business avoid network congestion?

The best way to avoid network congestion is to select an ISP that doesn’t oversubscribe it’s network. The difficulty is – no ISP is going to openly state they regularly oversubscribe their network, so it’s important you do your research. Some good indicators of ethical network management are business customer reviews and industry awards – find out what other businesses have to say about a particular ISP or look up which awards the ISP has won.

Another way to gauge an ISPs’ network management ethos is whether or not the ISP is transparent about how much capacity it purchases from NBN Co. Here at Aussie Broadband, we’re transparent about our network capacity so you know we’re not oversubscribing our network. We publish our CVC graphs on our website for each Point of Interconnect (POI), as well as information about our network, ping times, system outages and our upgrade schedule.

How do I test my internet connection?

If your business is experiencing slow internet, there are a range of ways to test it and establish the cause of the issue. You can always call our friendly team of Australian-based experts to resolve the issue. However, here at Aussie Broadband, we’ve developed two industry-leading business portals – one for small to medium businesses and the other for large enterprises – that allow businesses to perform their own connection tests.

Our MyAussie app – best suited to small to medium businesses – let’s you perform speed tests, check outages, kick your connection or raise a support ticket.

Alternatively, our enterprise-grade portal, Carbon, gives you direct access to the systems our staff use. Carbon let’s you perform loopback tests, reset ports and ‘kick’ the connection. Rather than calling our support centre, your IT team can run initial diagnostics to better identify the issue. Then, if further help is needed, we can see what tests have already been completed and speed up the resolution process.

Ready to experience fast and reliable business-grade nbn™ to power your business into the digital future? Make the switch to Aussie Broadband today. Call our friendly team of Australian-based experts on 1300 480 905 or sign up online here.