Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ethernet Cuts Costs, Expands Bandwidth

You know what a business tradeoff is, right? That's when you have to decide which of two things you want is more important because you can't have both. But what if you could have both? That's no tradeoff. That's a real business advantage.

Ethernet service falls into that advantageous sweet spot. It's more bandwidth for less money.

You read that correctly. More bandwidth. Less money. How can that be? It's a combination of technology advancement and new aggressive providers who are out to change the nature of telecommunications networking.

Until recently high bandwidth telecom services from T1 lines to DS3 bandwidth to fiber optic connections were primarily under control of the entrenched telephone companies. New carriers have come on the scene over the last couple of decades and spend that time and millions of dollars building regional and national fiber optic networks independent of the telephone companies. These new carriers offer advanced technology and aggressive pricing.

Technology is part of the explanation of how Ethernet can simultaneously cut costs and expand bandwidth. Telco networks have been based on time division multiplexing since they went digital starting in the 1950's. That was the right technology match to transport digitized telephone calls on a circuit switched network. But technology has been evolving since then and, with the dramatic growth of the Internet, packet switching has steadily displaced circuit switching as the network architecture of choice.

The new high performance digital networks are designed for packet switching from the ground up. They are IP (Internet Protocol) based. Some form the backbone of the Internet, of course. Others are kept private so that their quality of service can be carefully controlled. It's these private networks that offer what's called Carrier Ethernet, also known as Metro Ethernet.

Since Ethernet is the universal network protocol of choice for businesses large and small, it stands to reason that the most efficient way to transport network packets over long distance is to keep them in the Ethernet protocol. That's what the new Ethernet services do. They connect to your network switch or router and extend your local area network across town or across the country.

The combination of native Ethernet service and aggressive carrier pricing make Ethernet WAN (Wide Area Networking) the connection of choice for linking multiple locations or bringing in dedicated Internet access at high bandwidths. Service is available in a variety of bandwidth increments from 5 Mbps on up.

At levels of 50 Mbps and below, it's often possible to provision service over twisted copper pair wiring using the latest in line modulation technology. This means nearly any building within a couple miles of the nearest carrier point of presence can get Ethernet service. At higher bandwidths, up to Gigabit Ethernet, fiber optic connections are needed.

Find out if your building is already "lit" for Ethernet service or what might be available in the way of Ethernet over Copper (EoC) service. Check for Ethernet availability using the GeoQuote (tm) service finder.

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

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