How Big is Big? How Fast is Fast?

One of the best days of my life was flying over the Grand Canyon in a small Cessna.  You’ve  seen pictures or film of the Grand Canyon, but seeing it up close from a low flying plane is a whole different experience, one I heartily recommend  adding to your list of things to do.

Hoover Dam is another spot that demands a visit.  What both these share is that mere words can’t translate how big they are.

Speed is very hard to describe.   It’s easy to picture a car travelling at 90 klicks, but if I tell you my raquetball serve averages 110 mph (or it did, back in the day), or that a 747 passenger jet cruises at 870 kph, it gets a little tougher.

We rapidly lose our sense of perspective… if I say our ADSL line is 6,000,000  bits per second, is that fast?    Particularly with the big numbers like 25, 50 or 100 Megabits per second becoming available on cable and fibre optic services.

At Skyway West, we have hundreds of ADSL subscribers on our 6 Megabit per second service.  Some of our clients may not know that we track and record actual throughput on most of our services.

So here’s the startling thing… it surprised the heck out of me, anyway… out of this population,  over 80% appear to be quite happy using “3 megs” or less bandwidth each month!

For businesses, what’s equally (or more) important is the consistent quality of the connection, particularly for applications like Voice over IP and Video Conferencing.

Jitter, packet delay and packet loss… if you’re selecting an Internet service for your business, think (and ask) about those too.

Don’t lose your sense of perspective, which, after all, can be a very tricky thing for all of us.