What Your IT Support Company Should Tell You Before Adding Fiber
Fiber-Optic is rapidly becoming the gold standard in internet connectivity for businesses both small and large. The quality of and speed at which data is transmitted are far superior to that of traditional copper cable. And unlike cable companies, fiber providers offer a service level agreement, which clearly defines their obligations to you, the customer. Although the upfront cost to install fiber is higher, it’s more durable, requires less hardware and is less expensive to maintain, making the total cost of ownership lower in the long run.
If you’ve been kicking around the idea of switching to fiber, there are some “gotchas” of which you need to be aware. When providing pricing to a customer, most internet service providers (ISP) don’t disclose that there may be additional costs involved. We believe it’s in our customer’s best interest to know what to expect beforehand so you can budget accordingly and not be caught off guard.
By law, internet providers are required to bring their lines to the Minimum Point of Entry (MPOE) in a building – but no further. If the MPOE is your server room where your firewall is, no problem. But if the MPOE is the building’s telecommunications room, and your server room is down the hall or five stories up, then a “demarcation extension” or demarc extension is needed. And that will cost extra.
This is especially true if your company is located in a multi-tenant building. You should count on having to pay for a demarc extension and plan your budget accordingly. Even if you are the sole occupant of your building, you still have a 50/50 chance that you’ll need a demarc extension. There is no guarantee that the internet provider will install a fiber circuit in your server room, so you should plan for it either way.
MIS Solutions clients have the benefit of having us be the single point of contact for all their IT needs. We do the heavy lifting so they don’t have to worry about finding a contractor. Plus, we want to be sure they’re getting the absolute best deal possible.
This is how the process works:
- The first step is to contact your account manager to start the ball rolling.
- We will get in touch with our telco coordinator who then searches for an internet service provider who a) is in your area and can provide the highest quality service, and b) has the best price options to meet your budget and needs.
- Once we’ve found the best solution for your business, you will sign an agreement with the ISP.
- At that point, the ISP will order a site survey to determine if additional cabling or construction is needed to install your fiber circuit. In some cases, the ISP will offer demarcation as a service, but more times than not, it’s up to the customer to have that work done before they will deliver the fiber.
- If additional cabling is required, MIS Solutions will work with an electrical contractor or our low voltage company to get a quote for the cost of cabling and construction.
- At this point, if the price is in line with your budget, MIS Solutions coordinates the fiber install and cabling on your behalf. You can expect the install to be completed in 45 to 90 days.
The cost of a demarc extension is dependent on several things. For example, the distance between the end user’s network drop or server room and the MPOE will determine whether a copper handoff will suffice or if a fiber handoff is necessary. The price will also be affected by any obstructions, such as concrete walls, that the extension has to penetrate to reach your server room. Obviously, the more complicated the project, the more inflated the cost will be.
During the site survey, the ISP will determine the distance between the MPOE fiber router and the desired network drop. That distance then dictates whether a copper line (electrical) extension will adequately meet your company’s internet needs or if a fiber extension is required to deliver acceptable service.
Generally speaking, if the distance is less than 300 feet, the less expensive copper Ethernet cable will do, and the cost will run about $300 to $400. Anything over 300 feet will require fiber and could cost up to $1,000 or more.
If you are considering fiber and have questions, contact us first. At MIS Solutions, we won’t stop at just making your technology work…we want your technology to work for you and help you grow and succeed in business.