Buying bandwidth capacity, if you know what that is, comes with certain risks that need to be considered, especially when buying it bulk (1Gbps or more). It's not like buying new Iphone. Prices keep dropping and negotiating to get the best deal can take a while. Sit comfortably and embark on a journey of bandwidth shopping. Step by step, oh lord of fiber optic bliss!
Regardless if you are buying Gigabit or Terabit of bandwidth, there are always these factors to consider!
- How much bandwidth do I need on day one?
- How much bandwidth will I need 6 months later?
- How will the bandwidth be used?
- Which part(s) of the globe do I need bandwidth at?
- Who are best suited carriers in those regions?
- How flexible and competitive are those carriers?
- References of carriers from their existing customers?
- Will the carrier let me try the connectivity before I sign the contract or do they insist that I buy "cat in the bag", because their kitty is oh so pretty and the best in the whole world!
- Should I sign long term contract? (pssst.... if you sign contract term longer than 12 months, the carrier will have you bent over barrel)
- Am I better off buying directly from the carrier, should I go with a middle man (broker) or a hosting company?
- How will the carrier react to abuse issues caused by my customers?
- How will the carrier handle DDOS related issues?
- How is the %95th calculated?
- Will the carrier insist on signing new long term contracts every time I want to order some additional services (extra ports, extra IP addresses, etc)
Congratulations!! 1-2 months after addressing all above, you finally selected handful of carriers who best fit your needs. How do I negotiate the best deal?
In this case, task at hand is simple. You want the lowest price and the most flexible terms. The carrier wants the highest price possible and to lock you in for years to come. Negotiation shouldn't be Olympic games discipline (maybe next year?).
Typically, all sales reps will have to run approvals for pricing and terms through multiple layers of their corporate structure.
Expect the process to take 2-6 weeks with each carrier.
Often when you inform a carrier that you did not select them since they did not deliver requested price points , the carrier will reach back in few weeks saying "Good news!!! You know that pricing we couldn't do few weeks back??? Guess what, we can do it now 😊"
Carriers will get more aggressive with their pricing toward the end of each calendar quarter as they need to bring in extra $$$$$$ to meet their quotas and to make company shareholders happy.
Congratulations, you selected the right provider. The one who promised you the sun, the moon and the stars, remember? Now they want you to sign a long term contract and associated master service agreement that is something like 30 pages long. You'd better have a lawyer to review it before you sign it.
Your lawyer will likely suggest few adjustments and changes which will have to go through multiple layers of carrier's corporate structure, again.
Expect another 2-4 weeks.
Price check on isle 4 !
Are you that guy who's checking prices after you purchase something? Bandwidth prices typically decrease every 6-12 months. If you signed a multi-year contract, you are likely to find out that you pay more than the market rate few months into the contract. If you signed term longer than 24 months you will be significantly overpaying.
Long term vs Short term
So when you consider all the headaches and risks listed above, you may ask yourself, is there an easier way to acquire significant bandwidth capacity without locking myself into something that may turn against me?
There are hosting providers out there who offer month to month term or usage based solutions but typically the rate is 10-30x higher than buying bandwidth directly from a major carrier.
So you ask yourself, is there some middle ground where I get best price and flexible terms without having to sign contracts or putting my neck on the line?
YES, there is FDC (Finest Distinguished Connectivity or Faster Dandier Cablemodem or FreeDom Contract, Finally Decent Company, Fast Delicious Carrier or whatever FDC stands for 😊 😊 😊)
But no seriously, best price per Megabit, flexible terms, no headache contracts, simply put THE BEST DEAL is what FDC has been always about for nearly 20 years.