Bitstream 2 Connectivity
Bitstream 2 fibre is the most commonly used UFB fibre variant, thanks to the great high-speed options at very affordable price points
available nationwide throughout New Zealand.
There’s a good chance that if you are a small business (ie,
if you have 20 staff or less) you are already using this type of connectivity,
and you are probably running other critical services such as your phone lines
over it too.
In short, Bitstream 2 fibre is the people’s choice for
internet connectivity especially as it fits within most of our budgets,
although there’s a catch or two you need to be aware of.
When discussing UFB fibre with our clients, I liken the UFB
network to an international in-flight experience: Depending on your budget or
tastes, you will often have the option of flying economy (Bitstream 2), premium
economy (Bitstream 3) or business class (Bitstream 4), all with key points of
difference from one another, and of course different price tags.
Welcome to Economy Class Fibre!
In economy, it’s well known that your inflight experience is
not the same as, say, business class – Your seats are smaller and less
comfortable, you’ll have a fairly long wait to get your meals/drinks and
in-flight assistance, and the food/drink options are generally of the ‘like it
or lump it’ variety.
In short, economy is good as it will get you to where you
need to go in one piece, but secretly we all wish we were up the front of the
With UFB fibre, this analogy rings true, especially when you
need help and assistance with your UFB connection, as your expectations vs what
you can actually expect may be two different things.
So, what are the catches?
Firstly, you can expect inferior service levels, such as reduced
service uptime expectancy and in most cases, inferior service restoration
targets (in other words, the amount of time it takes to fix the fault) compared
to more premium alternatives.
Bitstream 2 services also have a very high bandwidth contention
ratio of up to 48:1, meaning the speed service you select isn’t guaranteed and
will fluctuate from time to time, especially if there is a lot of shared
activity from other consumers/businesses using the same class of service you
are in your area.
Last but certainly not least, your internet provider won’t
be getting priority support from the local fibre company (ie Chorus, Enable etc..),
when attempting to fix or resolve any issues relating to your Bitstream 2
service on your behalf.
As an example of the support your internet provider can
expect, they will still be able to lodge faults as soon as they are able with
the local fibre company in question, but depending on how busy the local fibre
company support desk is, your fault will most likely be some way down the
pecking order, especially if they are busy tending to faults for higher grade
services on their network.
Is Bitstream 2 Fibre right for my business?
In most cases, Bitstream 2 fibre will be fine for most small
businesses as it is generally fast, reliable, and can allow your business to
operate ‘in the cloud’ by using a lower cost fibre service compared to traditional
uncontended fibre networks.
There are a couple of other technical quirks with Bitstream
2 fibre that could mean this type of connectivity isn’t right for you,
therefore my advice is to check with either your IT or managed service provider
(or your internet provider, of course 😉) and they should point you in the right