THREE STRAIGHT-TALKING QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD BE ASKING YOUR CONTENT DELIVERY PROVIDER

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Since LiNKUP acquired our own Network Operations Center in Englewood, Colorado some 18 months ago we have embarked on a rather speedy course in network management.

A Little Background

For those of you who are new to all things LiNKUP, let me get you up-to-date. In the past several years, our company’s emphasis has been on supplying our customers with the various systems that allow networks the ability to own and operate their own content delivery system. Then, we decided to take a big leap in November of 2021, purchasing the assets to an amazing facility in Denver’s Tech Corridor. We have since leveraged the site to provide a full menu of additional services — including our own XDS platform – for our clients.

Now, back to that crash course in network operations I previously mentioned. Over the last year-and-a-half, we’ve learned a lot about what it takes to operate a 24/7 state-of-the-art Network Control Center with a global reach. All those teachable moments, big and small, have left us with the realization that choosing the right content delivery provider is paramount to your network’s success.

How do you choose? Is it about price? Satellite coverage? NOC response time? Yes, and also, so much more.

So, take a moment. Consider the following questions, and think about this: How would your current network provider respond?

1. Does your network provider’s rates seem too high or too low?

Both ends of the spectrum can signal a problem with your provider.

Before I go further, let me address the rising costs of doing business — we all know and understand that we are in a period of inflation. However, if your monthly fees from your current provider are significantly higher than a quote from a competitor, we can all agree this is a red flag.

Recently we had a company approach us for a quote for NOC services. After evaluating their needs, we offered them a comprehensive solution at a fair market price. Their response was very positive, but in the end they chose to stay with their current provider (who lowered their price to match our bid).

I get it — it’s a hassle to change providers. Right? But wouldn’t you always wonder why your content delivery provider didnt give you the fair market price in the first place?

The same goes for a rate that’s too low. We all know the old adage, If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” If the price a content delivery provider quotes are significantly lower than their competitors, then you need to question the company’s future reliability and sustainability.

2. What is the overall health of their facility?

You are entrusting your network content to your provider. Are they, in turn, investing in the NOC infrastructure? Find out by asking questions; lots of questions.

Here is an example of just a few pointed questions you should bring up in reference to the facility:

  • What can you tell me about your SLA (Service Level Agreements) with vendors?
  • What are your backup power capabilities?
  • Tell me about the NOC’s fiber capacity.
  • Can you describe in detail your firewall capabilities?

Final note: Beware of excessive downtime or other warning signs the system is not being adequately maintained.

3. What is the background and work experience of the people who manage your network?

We were very fortunate when we purchased the NOC at Englewood;  we “inherited” an extremely seasoned, knowledgeable technical staff; most with decades of experience in serving

As we continue to expand our services, we have made a conscious decision to hire first-tier support that have a broadcasting background.

Why? Because we firmly believe NOC technicians with a working knowledge of broadcasting innately understand your network’s needs better than those without.

Besides — we operate our NOC in an area that’s “home” to some of the largest networks in the country. This gives us a large hiring pool from which to operate.

Can all of our competitors say the same thing?

Final Thoughts

By bringing up these potential issues, it’s our hope that you are giving deep consideration to the specifics of your relationship with your content delivery provider. At LiNKUP, we relish the opportunity to speak with you about all the points I mentioned above — including the overall health of our facility.

If you are not currently a client of LiNKUP, we think we’ve given you some really strong points to mull over. I expect that these are just a start to other questions you now may now be considering. And that’s a good thing because, at the end of the day, your content distribution provider is entrusted with a precious commodity — the health and well-being of your content delivery.

Only you can determine if your content distribution provider is simply going through the motions — providing your network with the very basics of attention and care — or truly invested in your network’s success.