Friday, June 08, 2007

Mid-Band Ethernet Offers Fiber Bandwidth Over Copper

Are you saying, "I feel the need. The need for bandwidth"? Or something like that?

Well, don't feel alone. The demand for WAN bandwidth is nearly insatiable. What's driving the need for bigger network pipes leaving the premises is an increase is the volume of data, measured in file sizes and number of transactions. Everything from radiological images and CAD drawings to offsite backups to ecommerce to wireless backhaul is clogging wide area network lines that used to have plenty of capacity.

In most cases, the increase in demand justifies ordering more bandwidth. That's great until you try to place the order. Where there was no problem whatsoever upgrading from ISDN BRI to a T1 line, there can be a BIG problem upgrading to fiber. Less than 15% of business locations are wired for fiber to the premises. The 85% that aren't already connected face potentially enormous charges to trench-in a fiber connection to the nearest metro ring. While monthly lease fees may be within the budget, the unexpected construction expense is likely a show stopper.

An ingenious solution to this dilemma involves leveraging the copper pairs that are already pulled into nearly every structure standing. Multi-pair bundles are the mainstay of traditional analog telephony. They can also be used to bring in T1 service for digital telephony and broadband Internet access. What has been needed is a way to get higher bandwidths over the installed base of copper wiring.

Enter mid-band Ethernet over copper. This service fills the bandwidth gap between T1 at 1.5 Mbps and DS3 over fiber at 45 Mbps. Mid-range bandwidths are often just right for business applications such as real-time video, mid to large company Internet access, and electronic data transfer. Plus this is native Ethernet running over the WAN, rather than a conversion from packet switching to T1 or SONET time division multiplexing. That makes for greater utilization of the potential line capacity and easier network management.

XO Communications, a major competitive telecommunications carrier, is now offering private data networking for metropolitan and intercity services using Ethernet over copper technology from Hatteras Networks. Where available, you can now get 10 Mbps point to point connectivity with a standard 10BaseT interface at each end. That's even if the terminations are on opposite sides of the country. Think of it as a VERY long LAN. XO supplies the equipment and monitors the line 24x7.

The technology from Hatteras Networks is based on the "Ethernet in the First Mile Project", also known at IEEE 802.3ah. The physical layer employs SHDSL (Symmetric High-speed DSL) with a maximum rate of 2.3 Mbps per pair or E-SHDSL, Extended SHDSL, with a maximum rate of 5.7 Mbps per pair. Two pair can conceivably carry the full 10 Mbps Ethernet, although SHDSL bandwidths decrease with distance from the central office. Hatteras equipment can bond up to 8 copper pair for a maximum bandwidth of 45 Mbps, giving 10 Mbps over extended distances.

XO offers mid-band Ethernet in major cities where they have installed the Hatteras equipment in telco COs using existing copper lines. An alternative elsewhere is to bond conventional T1 lines to create 2x ( 3Mbps), 3x (4.5 Mbps), 4x (6 Mbps) and so on. T1 lines are nearly universally available, as they were engineered to run on 2 pair each of conventional copper phone lines.

Is your business pressed for bandwidth? Our product experts are anxious to help you get the most bandwidth for your dollar, using highly competitive services from XO and other competitive carriers. Just call the toll free number or run a instant online quote using our MegaTrunks Mid-Band Ethernet Service.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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