Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. How is PS LIGHTWAVE's service different from the competitors?
  2. What is the 95th Percentile Rule?
  3. What does full-duplex mean?
  4. What are the steps in getting service activated?
  5. What services do you offer?
  6. What does facilities-based mean?
  7. Do you have an SLA (Service Level Agreement)?
  8. Do you have a local Network Operations Center help desk?
  9. What type of technology do you use?
  10. What is your "hand off"?
  11. Can you provide IP addresses?

1) How is PS LIGHTWAVE's service different from the competitors?

Some of the key features that differentiate PS LIGHTWAVE from the competitors include:

  • We are facilities-based; meaning we build, manage and provision facilities-based infrastructure over Houston's largest private Metropolitan Area Network (MAN). 
  • Since 1998, the fiber network is 100% Ethernet. Unlike our competitors, we aren’t converting legacy systems to Ethernet networks, therefore our Ethernet isn’t underpinned with additional layers of complexity that may slow the provisioning down and create bottlenecks in delivery of services.
  • In the event that a customer needs more bandwidth, we allow our customers to use as much bandwidth as the handoff interface will permit for short periods of time.
  • We have locally staffed Network Operations Center that’s available 24/7/365.
  • We continue to help resolve problems with customers, even after we determine that we may not be responsible for the issue, because if we can help, we will. It’s just the right thing to do.

2)  What is the 95th Percentile Rule?

PS LIGHTWAVE provides most data services as burstable service. For example, when a customer purchases a 10 Mbit/s Internet or point-to-point service, PS LIGHTWAVE will provision this service over a standard Ethernet port capable of 100/1000Mbit/s. PS LIGHTWAVE doesn't limit (or cap) the bandwidth on this service.

Ok, so what is the 95th percentile rule? PS LIGHTWAVE uses the 95th percentile rule to bill for bandwidth used over the committed rate. Below we will explain how the 95th percentile is calculated, but to explain it in short, the 95th percentile calculation removes usage spikes and doesn't penalize for the occasional burst of bandwidth. Instead, burstability provides a system which gives a customer extra bandwidth when needed.

What’s the advantage of burstable service? By not limiting the bandwidth for a service, customers can enjoy higher bandwidth when needed. Most bandwidth that is consumed over the committed rate of 10 Mbit/s is of short duration. For example, when downloading a service pack or a large file transfer, a short multimedia stream with extra bandwidth makes the difference. Simply put, your service performs faster as you have more bandwidth available.

To calculate the 95th percentile over the month, PS LIGHTWAVE polls the built in bit counter of every port on our network every 5 minutes. These ports are the physical cable over which you receive your service. This port is dedicated to your service and is not shared with any other customer. The data we receive from polling the bit counter on the port is put into a database for our billing system. This data is also placed into a special data-file, which is later utilized to graph your data usage. A typical month has 30 days, 24 hours, 60 minutes in an hour and twelve 5-minute intervals in an hour. This means that during a month we have 8640 bandwidth samples (30 * 24 * 12). The 95th percentile calculation sorts these 8640 samples onto a stack from high to low and removes the top 5%, which results in the 95th percentile. The number, which is left on the top of the stack, is the 95th percentile. During a 30-day month, this equals to 36 hours of exceeding the committed rate without receiving an overage bill.

How do I know my 95th percentile? We display the 95th percentile on each graph that you review. It is a good practice to periodically check the graphs we provide through this website. The 95th percentile for your inbound traffic and your outbound traffic is displayed on each graph. The 95th percentile is calculated according to the time frame, which is displayed on the graph. If you look at a day's usage, the 95th percentile calculated is based on this single day. We bill a monthly 95th percentile. To see your monthly 95th percentile, look at your usage graph and set the Preset to "Previous Month". The 95th percentile is displayed in the graph as a line and as a text in the legend.

PS LIGHTWAVE uses different systems to ensure the data is correct. The traffic website is for the visual representation of your usage data. The displayed 95-percentile calculation is a courtesy we provide. However, the data on this web site will lose precision over time as it gets compressed. PS LIGHTWAVE uses a second internal system for billing. This system keeps all data in a database, which is queried at the end of the month and calculates the 95th percentile for each service we provide. Billing is performed on the more precise database driving calculations.


3)  What does full-duplex mean? 

Full-duplex simply means that the service can transfer and receive data at the same time. If a network were half-duplex, it could only send or receive data, leaving one side to wait for an opening to transmit data while an existing data stream was being received. You could stream a video file over a half-duplex connection, but you could not carry on a phone or real-time conversation. All PS LIGHTWAVE services are exclusively full duplex. It may be important to keep this in mind when establishing a firewall. 


4) What are the steps in getting service activated?

  1. Once a customer’s desired service is identified, a contract (Master Service Agreement and Service Order) is sent to the customer for signature.
  2. The agreement identifies service details, customers contact information and PS LIGHTWAVE contact information and estimates installation lead-time.
  3. On receipt of a signed agreement, a Project Manager (PM) is assigned to the customer’s account. All implementation requirements are reviewed and the PM builds an implementation activity schedule to send to the customers via email.
  4. The PM works closely with the customer’s technical contact to clarify any questions about the installation requirements.
  5. Depending on the service offering, PS LIGHTWAVE provides one of the following:
    1. Two CAT5 drops to customer demarcation point (data room or closet) with an RJ45 connector handoff to customers premise equipment (CPE).
    2. Two optical fiber drops to customer demarcation point (data room or closet) with SPF connector handoff to customers premise equipment (CPE).
    3. A data switch is installed in customer data room or closet.  
  6. If INTERNET service is ordered, PS LIGHTWAVE will provide the customer with public IP addresses for their Internet Service.
    1. Customer receive an IPJ Request form. We use this form to document the customer’s needs for public IP addresses. Once this form is returned, PS LIGHTWAVE will allocate customer IP addresses for Internet service.
  7. PS LIGHTWAVE begins billing once service is activated.

5) What services do you offer?

  • Ethernet Data Circuits
    • Point-to-Point
    • Point-to-Multipoint
    • Ring Protected
  • Internet Connectivity
  • VoIP
  • Dark Fiber
  • Personalized Network Solutions
  • Carrier Services
    • Ethernet Data Circuits
      • 3G & 4G network infrastructure solutions
      • 100G dark fiber network for greater bandwidth
      • Network scalability to grow with your needs
    • Last mile services (Local Loops/Type II Services)
    • Cellular Backhaul service (Managed Lit Ethernet and Dark Fiber options)
    • Dark Fiber

6) What does facilities-based mean?

Facilities-based operators are those deploying networks and facilities to offer telecom transmission services. PS LIGHTWAVE has been authorized by the Public Utility Commission of the State of Texas as a Service Provider to provide both facilities based and resale of telecommunications services to facilities throughout the State of Texas. As a private telecommunications company we build much of our own fiber optic routes, install our network elements and provision our customers’ services over facilities-based infrastructure.


7) Do you have an SLA (Service Level Agreement)?

Yes, we do. Click here to view our SLA.


8) Do you have a local Network Operations Center help desk?

Yes, PS LIGHTWAVE operates a locally staffed Network Operations Center (NOC) available 24/7/365. You can open a ticket with our NOC by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 832.615.8000.


9) What type of technology do you use?

All of our systems and sites are connected using our own fiber optic cables. We provision from 10 to 100 Gbs Ethernet links on a main protected optical core. We hand off Ethernet switches at 10 to 40 Gbs into an aggregation layer. From the primary Ethernet aggregation layer, we continue to step the individual services down all the way to 100 Mbs in the customer’s suite or office. Each service is unique to one customer and your circuit will not be shared with others.


10) What’s your “hand off?”

PS LIGHTWAVE hands off a 10/100/1000 Mbs CAT5, CAT6 or fiber full-duplex Ethernet connection to it’s customers. If this is a private point-to-point or point-to-multipoint connection, you use your own IP addresses, as we will be transparent to your networks. If this is an Internet connection, then we will assign public IP addresses and work with your staff to determine the best method of using our Internet connection.


11) Can you provide IP addresses?

Yes, we can.

Did You Know?:

We get questions like these all the time—we love to help our customers learn more about their network. It’s all part of our role as the consultative connectivity provider.