History Interrupted: How a Bad Network Ruined the Most Epic Super Bowl Ever

By: Susan Larson, Marketing Communications Manager

superbowlViewed by more than 111 million people, Super Bowl LI was a definitely a game for the history books. Thirty NFL records were broken or matched. It was the first Super Bowl game to go into overtime. The Patriots broke the record for overcoming the biggest deficit to win. Tom Brady was the first quarterback to get five Super Bowl wins and four MVP titles. And, last but not least – the biggest news in my corner of the world – it was the first time my son was allowed to stay up for an entire Super Bowl game.

He was beyond ecstatic. Finally, he would get to rehash the whole game with his buddies at school, reliving every single play in excited, excruciating detail, as only 11-year-old boys do. It was a rite of passage for him.

But it didn’t quite end the way he had hoped it would.

A few months ago, we got rid of cable TV and switched to Roku devices. There are benefits to this technology, but it’s not without drawbacks. The most annoying con is that every once in awhile, viewing is interrupted by a “Loading….please wait” message. Roku is a streaming service, so there are periodic transmission errors. Data packets get dropped and have to be resent, and just like on your desktop computer, everything gets held up for a few seconds. It is frustrating to say the least.

Sunday night, much to my son’s dismay, packets got dropped and the transmission froze just as Patriots running back James White was carrying the ball over the goal line for the win. The TV screen went black, except for the blue bar of death and the dreaded, “Loading…please wait” message. The look on my son’s face was like someone had punched him in the stomach.

In my son’s little world, this experience was devastating, but quickly brushed off. But imagine this same thing happening in a hospital, where successful data transmission quite literally means life or death. Or in a financial services company, where dropped data could cost clients millions of dollars in delayed trades. Or a university, where thousands of students are relying on a WiFi network that suddenly stops working.

When your network stops working, the cost to your business, your patients, and your clients can be devastating indeed.

I know, I know … your network is performing just fine. But what about a few years from now, when there will be 3X as many connected devices as there are people in the world? Installing Cat 6A to connect new 802.11ac WAPs solves the bandwidth challenge in the horizontal and for the wireless network.

However, what about the fiber backbone that needs to support all of that extra bandwidth? Often times, people forget about this part of their network – out of sight, out of mind. Remember, like with any chain, your network is only as strong as its weakest link. Will the solutions you have in place now be able to support an ever-increasing amount of bandwidth over your network?

Berk-Tek has developed a unique solution that can extend the reach of your fiber backbone without having to move to a costly single-mode solution. Click here for more info.

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