Negotiating with ISPs

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
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rbeede
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Negotiating with ISPs

Postby rbeede » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:35 pm

Our current ISP (DSL) is pretty expensive and only gives us 1.5/0.5 bandwidth. They classified us as a business account and wouldn't offer any discounts even though we explained our usage would be mostly on Sunday.

Any tips or techniques others have found on getting better rates/service for church buildings?

Any experience on getting cable line brought in and getting the ISP to foot the outside line bill?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:59 pm

rbeede wrote:Our current ISP (DSL) is pretty expensive and only gives us 1.5/0.5 bandwidth. They classified us as a business account and wouldn't offer any discounts even though we explained our usage would be mostly on Sunday.

Any tips or techniques others have found on getting better rates/service for church buildings?


The FM Group is in charge of billing for Internet service now, so they would be doing the negotiating.

rbeede wrote:Any experience on getting cable line brought in and getting the ISP to foot the outside line bill?


Just before the switch to the FM Group being responsible, we had a cable line brought in to 3 buildings. We negotiated a free installation of the cable line in exchange for a 2-year commitment for $5/month TV service (which we won't use). But that was a lot cheaper than paying for the cable runs, which were 200-400 feet with asphalt repair.
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:20 pm

I vaguely remember some high-level deals the church did with some cable companies like Time-Warner that could do free installs.
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Postby lajackson » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:39 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I vaguely remember some high-level deals the church did with some cable companies like Time-Warner that could do free installs.


Our FM group says they are able to use two "national" cable vendors on Church contract. (However, to date, neither has been able to install to the building in time for a conference.)

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Postby johnshaw » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:53 pm

Does anyone know what these 2 cable vendors are specifically....aebrown, you remind me, we attempted a build-out deal as well for a couple of buildings which was a bit high for our taste, but I now have a 3rd.... I think I should revisit that. thanks for the great tip!

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Postby lajackson » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:52 pm

JohnShaw wrote:Does anyone know what these 2 cable vendors are specifically...


The FM group will know, especially since they mow are responsible for establishing and maintaining these connections. One of them has been mentioned already in this thread. I do not believe either truly provides "national" service, but they are major names you would recognize. The name of the other one escapes me at the moment, probably because they do not provide service in my neck of the woods.

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Postby johnshaw » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:57 pm

I can tell you plainly and without reservation. My FM group will not know this information. I rely on this board to convince him regularly to contact his Region or SLC. It is not a pretty process and one, frankly, I am tired of.

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Postby lajackson » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:05 pm

JohnShaw wrote:I can tell you plainly and without reservation. My FM group will not know this information. I rely on this board to convince him regularly to contact his Region or SLC. It is not a pretty process and one, frankly, I am tired of.


All the more reason to ask through your stake PFR. And keep asking. And have the stake president ask if the PFR cannot get the answer. Because the FM group has the assignment and the agency and the responsibility, and will ultimately pay the bill.

That said, I commiserate with you, and have been very careful what I have said in another thread for this very reason.

But, just as with any other Church responsibility, if the person who needs to know does not know, there are ways of getting that person the instruction he or she needs to be effective. And it is always better in the long run if that person gains the necessary knowledge, or others will face the same situation you face.

Think of it as an opportunity to influence the lives of many in the future by following some accountability principles in the present. Terribly difficult, I know. Frustrating. The gospel is still true. But there sure are a lot of interesting folks involved in trying to live it at various levels of perfection.

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Postby JamesAnderson » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:51 pm

Cable Internet service has a major drawback, whatever speed tier is selected.

Sunday is a day when most of the world is at home, and so many are going to be on watching Netflix or other video providers, and the way cable works is that everyone in the node you are also on, including any large users, are going to be passing everything through it. That is like funneling traffic through a large highway interchange, there are going to be bottlenecks. An aggravating factor is the distance from the headend, that can affect speeds. Anyone who has ever gone through 'The Funnel' north of the DFW airport can attest to this, by the way, that's being rebuilt with many more lanes when completed.

DSL works differently, you have some traffic issues, but those are usually beyond the control of the company and are not the result of company hardware although distance from the switch can be a factor, it is usually less than with cable. Bottom line, cable could be much slower than advertised, DSL should be closer, in the end, the Church also has a bottleneck problem due to the VPN, but DSL is much better for the bare service.

Speed tier: By now it is becoming all too obvious to many that 1.5mbps down is considered the 'dialup' speed of our day. Most providers now have a 7mbps tier, and that will prove to be the one needed for member access in the future. As to the 1.5mbps tier, it's a joke now, last week we had 40 young people come in to the family history center, we're a larger one so we had 20 computers running through the same DSL connection and the speed issue was a huge complaint from the YM/YW leaders that brought the youth in. Someone also said in one of the FamilySearch community meeting calls that 1.5mbps is useless for any Flash-based sites like some of FamilySearch and some of the video players out there even if not based on Flash, so it may be best to begin considering at least the 7mbps tier.

There are also some smaller companies that can sell DSL and at higher speeds for somewhat less than the national ones. The national ones have more to deal with: spammers, other abusers, etc., and that takes resources to fight.

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Postby aebrown » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:21 pm

JamesAnderson wrote:Cable Internet service has a major drawback, whatever speed tier is selected.
...
DSL works differently, you have some traffic issues, but those are usually beyond the control of the company and are not the result of company hardware although distance from the switch can be a factor, it is usually less than with cable. Bottom line, cable could be much slower than advertised, DSL should be closer, in the end, the Church also has a bottleneck problem due to the VPN, but DSL is much better for the bare service.


It's true that DSL should be closer to its advertised speed, but the advertised speeds may be substantially different. We find that even if we have to share the 7mbps cable connection, the reduction in throughput is relatively minor, and our speed is still much faster than the 1mbps maximum DSL speed the local phone company was able to provide. Of course, those numbers are unique to our situation (our buildings are mostly in fairly bad locations for DSL, being several miles from the Central Office), but we're much happier with our cable connection than the DSL connection we had at first.
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