Get the FASTEST Internet in town!

Learn about BEK Lightband Gigabit Internet

The Internet connects lives. Yours, mine, ours, theirs. In rural North Dakota, that’s a pretty important thing. And that’s why we built BEKFiber, over 6,000 sheath miles of fiber-optic network connecting 9,000 customers – all at the speed of light. That’s also why we created BEK Lightband Gigabit Internet, with speeds up to 1 gigabit per second. Many companies claim high speed internet, but few can declare the fastest internet service available anywhere. BEK is one of those companies. So, whether you work, play, or share your life on the Internet, do it faster; do it better; do it at the speed of BEK Lightband Gigabit Internet only on BEKFiber.

 

About BEKFiber

For you to enjoy the benefits of BEK’s Lightband Gigabit Internet, BEK designed and built a fiber-optic network, BEKFiber, to deliver gigabit-capable internet into your home. The way we do that is a three step process. First, we pull the fiber optic cable connection directly to your home; then we connect it to an optical network terminal (ONT). Finally, the ONT distributes the fiber optic signal to the Ethernet connections inside your home. For wireless connections, the ONT connects to a router with wireless capabilities. The details of using a wireless internet connection are outlined later in this document.

 

BEK Lightband Gigabit Internet Considerations

Although gig-cable network connections provide the fastest internet speeds today, the network itself may be affected by other factors which, in turn, reduce internet speeds. Some of these factors include:

 

  • Outdated hardware
The age of the hardware you use and the operating system on it, as well as any open software applications like email or browsers, will affect upload/download speeds. To perform network speed tests, turn off all applications and connect your device to the Ethernet (wired) network. Testing via a wireless connection will not give you correct results.
     
  • Device network interface card
Computers, laptops, and tablets will not connect at 1 Gig speeds if they are not equipped with a 1 Gig network interface card. Most devices equipped with 1 Gig network interface cards have the ability to communicate with the BEKFiber network at 1 Gig speeds as long as they are connected to BEK’s Lightband Router with an Ethernet cable. However, this does not take into consideration how the 1 Gig network card communicates with the other hardware inside your computer. These internal device connections may affect your overall communications speed.

 

  • Slow connections to websites you visit
The Internet is a system of network connections and BEKFiber is a small part of that system. So, even if your devices are fully capable of achieving 1 Gig speeds, BEK Communications cannot ensure 1 Gig speeds from end to end. Once your communication leaves BEK’s fiber network, it is likely to encounter segments of the Internet providing slower service as your request travels and reaches the websites you visit—sometimes due to heavy traffic or rerouting delays. As more companies seek to create gig-capable communications networks, we expect that overall Internet performance will continue to improve.

 

  • Latency Every time you visit a website, download a program, or stream a movie, it takes your computer a certain amount of time to travel across the Internet, connect with the sender and retrieve the data. At any given time, your computer may be performing dozens of these requests. How long it takes to initiate these connections and how quickly you receive data back is called latency. Because latency is dependent on many factors out of our control – i.e., how many networks data must travel, the quality of those networks, and the priority of the data being retrieved – and because latency is almost imperceptible in everyday Internet usage on BEKFiber, it is not easy to pinpoint. However, we do test and record the average time it takes to request and retrieve data between two test locations on BEKFiber. The results of those tests on average are:

 

  • Service
  • Average latency
  • ¼ Gigabit Lightband
  • 10.5ms
  • ½ Gigabit Lightband
  • 10.5ms
  • 1 Gigabit Lightband
  • ?

 

BEKFiber users can check latency using BEK’s speed test tool. However, given the many factors that influence latency, the best use for latency tests is to estimate how your connection is working with a specific device.

 

  • Packet loss Packet loss occurs when one or more packets of data traveling across the network do not reach their intended destination, affecting internet performance. Like latency, packet loss has a number of possible causes, ranging from network congestion to software bugs, making it equally difficult to pinpoint. Yet, once again, we can determine BEKFiber’s average packet loss target value and how our average performance measures up to it:

 

  • Target value
  • Average observed value
  • ¼ Gigabit Lightband
  • 250 Mbps down/125 Mbps up
  • ½ Gigabit Lightband
  • 500 Mbps down/250 Mbps up
  • 1 Gigabit Lightband
  • 900 Mpbs down/500 Mbps up

 

  • BEKTV through BEKFiber affects Lightband Gigabit Internet
If you are a BEKTV customer, part of the gigabit bandwidth supplied by BEKFiber is designated to a video stream, which in turn affects your data stream. In fact, the video stream (BEKTV) uses the bandwidth it needs first and the data stream (Lightband Internet) uses whatever bandwidth remains. Even with your TV off, BEKTV set-top boxes use bandwidth. To make the entire gigabit bandwidth available to your Internet connection, power off your set-top boxes.
     
  • Wireless devices Despite having BEK’s Lightband Gigabit Internet, wireless devices will NOT get the full 1 Gig speed. Wireless technology, as it exists today, makes it nearly impossible for any device to achieve 1 Gig speed outside of a laboratory and without spending thousands. Again, we cannot emphasize this enough, no matter what you or BEK attempt to do, you will not get the full 1 Gig speed if you are accessing Lightband Gigabit Internet via a wireless connection or wireless-only device. To get the fastest possible network speeds, you must connect your computer or other device directly to BEK’s Lightband Router using an Ethernet cable. That said, even though you will not get 1 Gig speeds, you can expect much faster speeds than other types of wireless access provide. You can further improve wireless speeds with simple hacks like securing your router to keep freeloaders off, limiting the amount of bandwidth certain apps use, scheduling downloads for non-peak hours, or investing in a repeater or high quality router.

 

Quick Internet Links:

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Internet Insights Newsletter

Internet Safety

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