When I set out to launch the first Howie’s Game Shack location, my goal was to bring people together to engage in the social aspect of playing video games in-person by placing hundreds of PCs and game consoles in one location. As the concept grew in popularity and the demand for games increased, so did the need for bandwidth. The top complaints we were getting from customers came from latency issues—or time delays in games. And in the gaming world, that can cost you a game. Furthermore, our customers were always multi-tasking—checking their email, social media, streaming videos, and even watching movies. The bottom line was: we needed more bandwidth.

We explored a few options, including installing more T1 lines. But for the kind of bandwidth we needed, it was very cost-prohibitive. Then AT&T suggested we replace our T1 lines with a fiber-based broadband connection, which could not only give us blazing fast speeds, but it was also more cost effective. We now have this installed in most locations and are finishing up the deployment, and we couldn’t be happier. Our bandwidth has increased by 10X over last year’s performance for the same cost.

And that’s not even the best part. I would estimate that 90 – 95% of the complaints we received were based on connectivity and latency issues, and those have disappeared. We’ve noticed a great improvement in our gamers’ satisfaction, and our bandwidth capabilities have even become a selling point for us. As we continue to expand, we are working with our AT&T team to ensure fiber connectivity is available for our future locations.

The Key to Successful Online Gaming_Fiber2_4_14

The strength and speed of the connection has transformed and improved the gaming environment for Howie’s, and bringing people together is easier for us now than it ever was.  We can confidently support up to 250 players at a time at each location and host in-store tournaments without interruptions or delays.  Fiber has been a game-changer for us!

Read the Howie’s Game Shack case study and learn how its new AT&T fiber-based ethernet broadband connection resulted in dramatic performance increases!

 

Howie Makler is the Founder & CEO of Howie’s Game Shack. He has written this guest post for the Networking Exchange Blog.