What’s that and what’s a point of presence? Ah, these are the keys to getting a better deal on business bandwidth.
Point of Presence, or POP, is a location where carrier services are located. For instance, a major competitive carrier may well have a central office located in your city. Within this facility is termination equipment for the carrier’s metropolitan and long haul fiber optic network. In other words, this carrier POP is like a station where you can get on and off their high speed voice and data network.
The same carrier may have POPs that aren’t part of their office facilities. Many carriers have POPs within colocation centers. Those are public facilities that specialize in housing server equipment for business users. They offer rack space, security, fire suppression, back up power and bandwidth. The bandwidth is provided by however many carriers choose to establish carrier POPs in the colo facility. Because your equipment is located within feet of the carrier POP, construction costs to provide you with bandwidth are little to nothing.
So, you’re looking around and don’t see any colocation centers or carrier central offices anywhere near your building. Does that mean that you are out of luck? No, not at all. There may be all sorts of POPs that aren’t readily apparent. The most prevalent example is the “lit” building. Lit means lit for fiber optic services. To light a building, fiber optic cabling and termination equipment must be installed and turned up. That’s generally only done when there is enough demand by one or more clients in the building for high bandwidth services. But once a building is lit, it can be used as a jumping off point to provide services to other buildings nearby.
The beauty of finding a lit building and its associated Point of Presence is that construction costs are minimal if you are next door to such a facility or within a short distance. The big cost of providing fiber optic bandwidth services is having to trench the fiber cable underground or suspend it overhead on utility poles for miles and miles. Bandwidth, especially Ethernet bandwidth, can be quite affordable if you don’t have to bear the capital expense of extensive fiber construction.
So, if they are not visible to the naked eye, how do you find these lit buildings? Fortunately, you have access to the Ethernet Building’s Point of Presence Locator. You simply enter the address of your building and get a map of nearby lit buildings in seconds. You can then get prices for bandwidth services you are interested in. It’s quick and easy, so give it a try. You may be surprised by how much fiber optic capability is hiding right next door or down the street.