Preparing for Content Provider Hyper Growth: Don’t Hinder Your Own Success

by Joe Scattareggia
December 13, 2018

The Silicon Valley recipe for success involves a frenzied drive for growth at all costs. Put a minimum viable product out there before the competition does, give a substantial portion of the company’s services away and figure-out the business model later. Above all, reach that critical adoption threshold. This innovation and adoption-first mindset has disrupted many an industry and created many new household names –and shows no sign of slowing down.

The fruits of this approach are apparent. Internet-based companies (one of the many shorthand’s for these hyper-growth companies), are the single biggest drivers of the current explosion in network capacity. That’s a testament to the success of content powerhouses – and to the rapid growth of smaller players that are winning new users at amazing rates.

Preparing content provider and internet-based companies’ networks for hypergrowth

Yet the inexorable race towards mainstream adoption can sometimes blind companies to easily preventable risks. Whether a content provider is a startup or gearing-up to that next round of funding, a little preparation can go a long way towards minimizing disruption when they hit the inflection point. Peer-to-peer online gaming sites, content sharing pages and IoT service providers alike can suddenly hit their network capacity wall, bringing the user experience to a grinding halt.

That’s why every content provider should have an “inflection point plan” ready with their network infrastructure provider to accommodate plentiful capacity and connections through periods of hyper growth. This contingency plan should include one or more of the following building blocks:

  • Wavelengths. Look for a supplier of nationwide long-haul and regional express, fiber-optic wavelengths that deliver 10 – 100+ Gbps connections from Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets back to top Tier 1 markets. You can then be assured of delivering content as close to end users as possible for optimal performance.
  • Dedicated Internet Access and IP Transit. Look for a service provider with a nationwide IP network that can deliver secure, scalable, burstable, and low‑latency Internet connectivity wherever it’s needed – backed with an SLA appropriate to your business objectives.
  • Ethernet. Used to interconnect multiple services, customizable, carrier-grade point‑to‑point Ethernet connections are an affordable, flexible, and secure alternative to traditional private line connections.
  • Dark fiber. The ability to move hyper-massive amounts of data to predefined endpoints is most cost-effectively accommodated by dark fiber. This allows you to choose and operate all of your preferred network hardware, and define your own service levels, via a network built precisely to your specifications. This option requires significant capital and personnel commitment to managing your own infrastructure and should be considered in later phases of growth.

While you won’t need all of these capabilities from the get-go, you’ll want to have them in place prior to reaching explosive growth. It’s all about hitting the ground running with the right wholesale services partner, ready to grow with you in resiliency and scalability at any and all inflection points.

Having a growth “contingency plan” is key. Nobody wants to be the person responsible for crashing the customer experience, especially at that critical moment when everybody is watching. That amounts to being a victim of your own success, a potentially ironic ending to a great content offering. There’s no need to give your competitors an edge. Windstream Wholesale can help you plan for success with expertise in content and media services to ensure you never come close to reaching that point.