Monday, August 27, 2007

You Mean There's Ethernet in My Building?

Are you so fed up with your business broadband Internet service that you're ready to start swinging an ax in the telecom closet? Wait! Before you wreck some equipment that you really need, let's find you highly reliable dedicated Internet service at a reasonable price.

The problem likely isn't your LAN network, routers or other network appliances. You've checked and rechecked network operations and they're 100%. The problem seems to be in that unreliable and intermittent connection to the Internet, somewhere out there. Is the Internet really that flaky? No. The Internet is fine. The problem is with your choice of connection method.

If your service is unstable, it's likely that you're using a DSL line or Cable Modem Internet service. For residential users, both of these solutions offer substantial bandwidth at very affordable prices. But there's a catch. To make this service so affordable, Internet providers usually won't guarantee you a fixed allocation of bandwidth. Dozens of other users share a common backbone connection to the Internet and the bandwidth available at any given time depends on how many users are online and how demanding their applications are. When your access slows to a crawl, it means other users are hogging the bandwidth.

So what's better? How about extending your LAN out to an Internet backbone? What if you had an Ethernet WAN (Wide Area Network) connection running at 10, 100, or 1000 Mbps and as reliable as your own network? This may come as a surprise, but you might already have such a connection in your office building right now.

It's true. Thousands of buildings are wired or "lit" for wide area Ethernet service by one or more competitive service providers. Larger buildings with medium and large corporate offices are most likely to be already set up for this service. But many medium size business centers have also been lit so you can quickly be hooked up and running with the bandwidth of your choice.

By "lit", I mean a fiber optic cable has been run into an equipment room and connected to termination equipment with one or more "wavelength" beams of light activated. Some carriers install these facilities in new office buildings as they are being constructed. Other times a major tenant has requested and paid for this installation so that they can get Ethernet themselves. Once the carrier facilities are installed, connecting additional customers is fairly easy.

The advantage of Ethernet over traditional fiber optic carrier services, such as SONET, is that the price per Mbps is only a fraction of what you would once have paid. SONET and other TDM based services, such as DS3, have traditionally been provided by Incumbent Telephone Companies. Ethernet service is available directly from competitive providers who operate their own private regional and national fiber optic networks.

So, how do you know what's available in your building that nobody's told you about? You simply use the new online Ethernet locator service, provided by Shop For Ethernet. Just enter your business address and the system will give you a map of your area showing Ethernet availability. It takes just a few seconds.

Don't fret if your building isn't already lit. The map will tell you how close the nearest lit building is. If you are within a short distance, typically less than a couple of miles, one of the carriers might be willing to connect you with "off net" Ethernet service back to a lit building. Beyond that, you can still get professional grade T1 line service and perhaps Ethernet over T1 or bonded T1 lines. The best way to find out is to run the online Ethernet search and request a complementary consultation from an Ethernet service expert.

No cost or obligation for this service, but it's only for businesses with their own business locations, not residential or home office users.

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

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