Take OC3 bandwidth, for instance. Optical Carrier level 3 is one of a family of fiber optic carrier services using the SONET (Synchronous Optic NETwork) protocol developed for the major telephone carriers and later offered to large business organizations. OC-3 is actually the lowest commonly available SONET service and runs a at a transmission speed of 155.52 Mbps. Of that, 148.608 Mbps is dedicated to payload, with 6.912 Mbps needed to support the overhead of transmission.
Time was, just a few years ago, that OC3 was considered an enormous amount of bandwidth. It was only ordered by major Internet service providers, colocation hosting facilities, television distribution companies and other large corporations. Medium size companies got by with DS3 at 45 Mbps, roughly 1/3 the capacity of OC3. Smaller companies had their needs met by T1 lines running 1.5 Mbps.
Today, OC3 bandwidth is no longer consider as the ultimate business telecom service. Leading edge companies have moved on to Gigabit bandwidth levels and even 10 Gbps is not out of the question. Two factors have been driving that change. One is expansion of the carrier market with many new competitive carriers running their own fiber optic networks. The other is the demand for higher bandwidths by such needs as cloud computing services, HDTV video, CAD/CAM design and manufacturing, scientific supercomputer simulations, and electronic medical records transmission.
While OC3 offers about 155 Mbps, the next level, OC12, offers 622 Mbps, OC48 steps that up to 2.5 Gbps and OC192 provides 10 Gbps performance. These are all SONET switched circuit TDM technologies. Their competitors are IP packet switched networks offering 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet, 1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet and 10,000 Mbps 10GigE.
With so much competition in the fiber optic arena, prices have come down dramatically over the last decade. In fact, if you haven’t checked competitive pricing in a few years, you may be shocked at how many options you have and at the low lease prices available. But... you may not find these low prices at all unless you check with a bandwidth broker who has access to dozens of competitive service providers. We work with Telarus, Inc., arguably the most innovative and fastest growing telecom services broker today. Their dedication to customer service and extensive automation tools make it easy for you to inquire as to services and pricing and get an answer quickly. Go ahead and simply state your business bandwidth needs now and see how glad you are that you invested the 30 seconds or so that it took to submit that online inquiry.