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The Rancho Murieta Association Communications Committee got a close-up look at RMA broadband at work and its biggest user Wednesday, and learned how to manage bandwidth use and save $4,000 a year.

Communications Manager Paul Venturella introduced the committee to a network monitoring program that shows real-time activity and conditions in the RMA broadband network. He started by projecting the statistics of the cable modem at his home on Lago Drive -- “my upstream power, my downstream, my signal to noise” -- on the whiteboard of the conference room.

Then he expanded the program’s reach to take in all RMA broadband customers. Venturella observed that, at that moment, approximately 6:30 p.m., “out of 558 modems, there are 12 that are currently not online,” and about 45 percent of the system’s available bandwidth was in use.

Next came a list ranking subscribers over the last 30 days according to their bandwidth use.

“Our top bandwidth user has used enough bandwidth to send over 50 million e-mails ... a total of over 300 gigabytes of bandwidth,” Venturella said. “Our bottom 200 users (in total) are using less bandwidth than the one user. We currently don’t have anything in place that manages that.”

That would change with the purchase of a bandwidth manager. The equipment would give priority to “phone traffic, web browsing and e-mail,” he said. “It does nothing at all until the network is 85 percent loaded. ... Then it starts to use fairness rules to slow down the download of a movie so that people who are just checking their e-mail, making phone calls and browsing the web aren’t affected. And it works very well.”

The bandwidth manager that the committee voted to recommend for purchase is a NetEqualizer NE-2000-45. It has an option that will meet a post- 9/11 security requirement the RMA is currently meeting through a $400-a-month lease.

As a broadband Internet access provider, the RMA is required to provide equipment under the federal Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act to aid law enforcement conducting criminal investigations that require wiretaps of digital telephone networks. Over the past three years, the RMA has paid a service provider over $20,000 for the lease of such a device.

The bandwidth manager with a CALEA option costs $4,420, and there is an annual software license fee of $450. “After the first year, the equipment is paid for and we save over $4,000 a year going forward,” Venturella wrote in a memo to the board.

The purchase will be considered by the Finance Committee before it comes before the board for approval at this month’s meeting.

Andy Keyes's picture
Joined: 08/22/2007
Posts: 289
Post rating: 120

Responsible Fiscal Planning

Bravo again Paul, Bravo. 

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