“Our Phones Stopped Ringing”
When California nonprofit ISP Kingsburg Media Foundation (KBMF) installed Preseem on their network, their staff immediately noticed one thing: silence.
The support calls they’d been receiving regularly about speed, packet loss, and latency issues stopped as soon as Preseem was activated.
“The day we turned the switch on, our phones stopped ringing,” said KBMF’s founder, President and CEO Reggie Gierke. “And it was worrisome enough that we started calling ourselves to make sure they were actually still working.”
Happily, there was nothing wrong with the phone system. The sudden drop in support calls was simply the result of Preseem’s active queue management (AQM) doing its thing—automatically separating traffic into bulk and interactive flows to optimize latency and throughput for a superior quality of experience, even during peak usage.
Why Kingsburg Media Foundation Chose Preseem
Founded by Gierke in 2010 as a sideline to help nonprofits in his community, KBMF has now grown to nine employees and a coverage area of over 300 square miles. They’ve remained a nonprofit themselves, with a mission to deliver Internet and technology services to other nonprofits, community organizations, and low-income areas at dramatically reduced rates.
KBMF originally got Preseem for its traffic shaping, as they’d experienced growing pains on their network that led to packet loss, plan management issues, and Bufferbloat. Once they added Preseem, however, they realized it was doing far more than just shaping traffic.
“It’s doing the traffic shaping on the front-end and keeping the lane wide open for everything else that’s going there,” said Gierke. “But then we were also able to just see so much more about our network that you really couldn’t see from a single pane of glass without spending hours and hours digging into logs and whatnot.”
Solving Technical Problems with Preseem
Prior to using Preseem, Gierke said it was a constant guessing game to try and figure out what was causing latency issues. Now, however, Preseem’s easy-to-understand metrics and views allow them to find the root cause, such as poor RF conditions or an oversubscribed access point, for example.
In the case of oversubscription, KBMF can now use this information to direct their sales team to target other neighborhoods before they start losing existing customers due to poor performance. Conversely, the Subscriber Capacity scores in Preseem also show which sectors are undersubscribed, letting the sales team know exactly where there are opportunities to add more customers.
Preseem’s vendor-agnostic nature has also been a positive for KBMF.
“Preseem actually does probably the best job of bridging that gap now between manufacturers just because it’s really showing the back-end of your network versus anything particular to any one vendor,” said Gierke.
Preseem Helps KBMF with Troubleshooting
Gierke said he also uses Preseem’s detailed RF metrics to dig deep on issues and find technical causes, like an LTU AP getting poor performance in a heavily-treed area. He also likes being able to view a specific customer’s metrics to see if there are router issues on the subscriber end. KBMF can also now monitor all their towers in one place and see several weeks worth of trends to help pinpoint any issues on specific sectors.
“It really helps us diagnose,” he said.
As well, Gierke said he enjoys being able to set overall traffic shaping for one AP to bring subscribers below a certain limit so that everyone gets a better experience. This can help buy time before they’re able to upgrade an oversubscribed AP, for example.
Overall, Preseem has helped KBMF solve not just the issues they knew about but also those they didn’t even realize they had, said Gierke.
“It’s really great having the tools that help you do things that make things better in the long run, instead of just stabbing at it, throwing money at things, guessing on whether or not it’s going to make a difference.”
Watch our full discussion with Reggie below!