That capability is here today. It goes by the name Carrier Ethernet. This is the same Ethernet that you are running on your LAN today. But now it’s been upgraded and standardized to run on metropolitan and long haul networks.
How do you get Carrier Ethernet? You need to sign up with a private network services carrier that offers that service. These are competitive carriers that have built nationwide footprints of fiber optic transport with points of presence in major metro areas. Often the core network is an IP based MPLS network that supports whatever protocol the customer needs.
Access to the nationwide network can be by fiber optic connection, Ethernet over copper or wireless Ethernet. The physical medium is less important that the fact that the network protocol is Ethernet from end to end. What the physical medium generally does dictate is the maximum access speed through the local loop. Even so, standard 10 Mbps Ethernet access is generally available in metro areas with lower speeds available just about anywhere via Ethernet over DS1 connections.
One advantage to the end user is that access to the Ethernet WAN (Wide Area Network) at each location is a standard RJ-45 connector. Just like with your in-house LAN, you plug into the Ethernet connector and you are on the network.
An even more important advantage of Carrier Ethernet versus traditional telecom services is cost. It’s not unheard of for an Ethernet service lease to cost half of what a company has been paying for similar bandwidth DS3 or OCx services. Sometimes the cost advantage is even more dramatic. It all depends on service availability in your area and how long ago you entered into your telecom services lease.
Would you be interested in less expensive WAN service with more bandwidth options? If so, check out Carrier Ethernet prices and availability for your business locations. Be prepared for a pleasant surprise.