What is Metro Ethernet? You’re familiar with the type of Ethernet that runs on your local area network. Metro Ethernet extends your LAN into the surrounding metropolitan area. It can provide a high speed point to point connection to one or more of your business locations in town. It can also connect to a long haul network and join two business networks on other sides of the country.
One beauty of Metro Ethernet is that your connection to the service is through the familiar Ethernet jacks similar to the ones you already use. No need to worry about special Interface equipment or ad-hoc plug-ins for your routers. It’s Ethernet.
Another real advantage of Metro Ethernet is that you can connect to it via router or switch. There’s no protocol conversion involved. That not only increases the efficiency of your bandwidth, but gives you a way to tie to LANs together to make a single large network. Forget those distance limitations imposed by traditional Ethernet cabling. Metro Ethernet is designed for the WAN or Wide Area Network. That’s everything outside of your building or campus.
But the stunning advantage of Metro Ethernet is that it costs so much less than traditional TDM-based telecom services. You would expect a newer technology service with better performance characteristics to cost more, not less. But that’s not the way it’s working out. New competitive carriers with IP core networks are bypassing the local telcos for last mile access and offering outstanding end to end pricing. You might pay half or less for a medium bandwidth service compared to what you’re paying now.
Another important advantage of Metro Ethernet is that you have a choice of bandwidths. Options vary from provider to provider, but you may well be able to order anything from 1 Mbps to 10 Gbps.
The lower speeds are especially attractive because they can be delivered over twisted copper pair telco binders. Get 1, 5, 7.5, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25 or even up to 45 Mbps speeds over multi-pair copper. Chances are that your business location is already served by this type of telco cabling and has unused pairs available. That means no construction costs. The service provider will install a managed router with the necessary interface and you simply plug your network into that.
Higher bandwidths are also available at bargain rates compared with long-standing SONET fiber optic prices. Get Fast Ethernet at 100 Mbps or Gigabit Ethernet at 1000 Mbps to match your LAN speeds. Need more bandwidth. You may qualify for 10GigE at 10 Gigabits per second. Even 100 Gbps WAN service is not that far off.
There is one caveat to the superior characteristics of Metro Ethernet. Metro means metropolitan, not rural. Out in the boonies you are not likely to find this service as of yet. But you can still get T1 lines and bonded T1 service at reasonable rates.
Is Metro Ethernet service the best option for your company or organization? Find out by checking prices and availability of Metro Ethernet and other high bandwidth services.