The C Spire network team drives the core of what our customers rely on—the ability to communicate with friends and family, connect with work colleagues and unwind with their favorite movies, TV shows and music.
Since sheltering-in-place began, streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube have seen a spike in usage as more people are at home consuming entertainment. C Spire has stayed ahead of the trend by increasing direct capacity to those sites by more than 50 percent—plus expanding direct capacity to Facebook by 30 percent, so customers can stay in touch with friends and family as well as stream weekly worship services.
“We’re being diligent about identifying any network demand and optimizing that for our customers,” said C Spire network architect Brian Bacola.
It takes a lot of tenacious, visionary people to pull off this level of customer-inspired network coverage. Leading the charge is C Spire’s Core Infrastructure group, including team members like Bacola and Jag Banipal, senior manager of the network capacity and analytics group at C Spire.
“We knew more people would be working from home and using online services for distance learning and virtual meetings,” said Banipal, “so we immediately got down to identifying traffic pattern changes across our network.”
The team used algorithms to quickly predict the customer experience under these new traffic patterns and identify in real time any “hot spots” that need increased capacity. Engineers and technicians are also upgrading fiber backhaul to sites across the state that will bring customers increased peak speeds.
We’re also looking out for those adjusting to work-from-home and distance learning situations.
Home and Business Fiber internet customers are relying on our fiber services, business VPN services and business tools like Office 365, Microsoft Teams and WebEx more than ever. This has created a shift in how customers use data, as well as how much data they use. The network team has optimized these connections along with VPN through our backbone network to ensure that customers can connect to these critical services and use them with confidence.
“Based on what is being used, we make the necessary adjustments to the network, whether that means optimizing traffic flow through a certain upstream provider, shifting traffic, or adding additional equipment to the core to move some of that traffic,” said Bacola.
As businesses have transitioned quickly to these new situations, C Spire has helped them adapt to conducting their business in a new way. The Core Infrastructure Team has worked diligently to support CSB customers implementation of new types of services that allow them the flexibility to work remotely, by increasing capacity on demand and adding additional VPN users and licenses.
In addition, the network team has also coordinated with other teams at C Spire to offer Pop-Up WiFi solutions for students in communities across the state, as well as for the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s COVID-19 testing facilities.
“It’s an honor to watch our network team step up to support our customers with consistent, dependable coverage, at times when they need it the most,” said Carla Lewis, chief technology officer at C Spire.
Bacola added, “We're in the same situation all of our customers are. Everyone's trying to access educational resources and collaborate, as well as be entertained. If being able to facilitate that to our customers takes some of the burden off them during these trying times, that's a fantastic thing for our team.”
More Behind the Scenes
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