May 20, 2024


Mad about real estate

Carrier Neutral Vs. Carrier Specific Colocation Providers

There are two different models for providing internet service in colocation facilities. One is carrier neutral and the other is carrier specific. Carrier neutral data centers offer customers more choices and are generally the choice for service in the US and Europe. Unfortunately, the service is rare in Canada and when you do find it, is very expensive.

In the carrier neutral model, your server is hosted in a facility that offers many different internet carriers. Generally, the first step in the process of finding a carrier neutral facility is to choose the carrier that you want to provide your internet connection. Like a real estate broker, colocation brokers will help you find the best service and the best price for you needs. Once you choose a provider, your broker will tell you which data centers are available to host your server and in what areas. From there, you can choose the location or locations that best meet your needs. Depending on the size of your business you may want your servers hosted in different areas throughout the country or all in one general location.

Prices vary from provider to provider and the benefit of carrier neutral colocation is that you have the option to shop around for the best price. If a carrier is running a promotion, you’ll be able to get in on that promotion and save money on your internet service. However, on the downside, you’ll have to pay more to rent space in the colocation facility than you would with a carrier specific facility.

With the carrier specific model, you don’t have a choice which company will provide your internet connection. You chose the facility that you want your server hosted at and then, whatever carrier they have, that’s the one you use for your internet connection.

The problem with this model is that it doesn’t let you shop around for the best price on internet service. However, you only pay one fee to the colocation facility for both your rack space and your internet service.

Generally, the carrier neutral model is better for the consumer since it encourages competition among the providers and drives prices down. As the consumer you have a better choice for service as well as lower costs.

In Canada, however, carrier neutral services are not widely available due to the monopolies held by the major service providers. In most cases, the carrier specific model is all you will be able to find. If you do happen upon a company that offers carrier neutral service, beware of high costs. Since most colocation facilities in Canada do not offer carrier neutral services, the few that do are able to drive their prices way up for space in the facility. Since there is virtually no competition in this market, if you want to continue using a carrier neutral service, you will be forced to pay their ever-rising prices.

The future looks bright though. As more and more colocation providers are looking into getting a direct fiber link to Seattle, they will soon be able to offer carrier neutral services throughout Canada. This will mean more competition, better service and lower prices for the consumer.