Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ethernet over Copper Growing By Leaps and Bounds

What’s the hottest new access network service? It’s clearly Ethernet over Copper. So hot is it that competitive carriers are scrambling to add coverage as fast as they can. An recent example is XO Communications, a major player in EoC, that just expanded its Ethernet over Copper network by more than 30%.

Just what is Ethernet over Copper and why is it so hot? The technology was developed in response to changing network priorities. WAN or Wide Area Network networks have traditionally been the domain of the telephone industry, which has adapted telephone transport technology to also carry data and video.

T1 lines have been used almost universally by businesses for point to point and dedicated Ethernet connections. They can be configured to transport 1.5 Mbps in both the upload and download directions. What’s made T1 so universal is that it is provisioned on two pair of ordinary copper telephone wires.

Ethernet over Copper also makes use of those same copper telephone wires, some of which have been in the ground for decades. Why push this old copper into service when fiber optics is so much more advanced? Simply because there is so much copper available and perfectly functional. Every business location has copper telephone bundles installed by default. If you want fiber optic service, you need to be in a fiber lit building or often be willing to pay the construction costs of extending fiber from the nearest carrier point to presence to your location. If copper will work, construction costs are minimal to non-existant.

But what can you do with copper? You can extend your LAN across town or across the country. You can even connect internationally to include locations overseas. Want a fast, reliable connection to the Internet? EoC will give you just that.

But why Ethernet over Copper instead of just sticking with the venerable T1 line? It comes down to cost, bandwidth and services. EoC is typically cheaper than T1 for the same level of bandwidth. In fact, you can often get 3 Mbps Ethernet for the same price as 1.5 Mbps T1. The most popular service is 10 Mbps Ethernet over Copper, although you can also get 20 Mbps and sometimes up to 50 Mbps over copper. T1 bandwidth can also be increased by bundling multiple T1 lines together, but the cost is often prohibitive above 10 Mbps.

In addition, Ethernet over Copper keeps your network protocol as Ethernet from LAN to WAN and back to LAN. That allows you to create virtual LANs that include multiple locations acting as one bridged LAN network. Ethernet line and LAN services are becoming very popular with businesses that support multiple locations.

Is Ethernet over Copper a service that would benefit your company or organization? Before you sign a contract for any other service, be sure to get pricing and availability of Ethernet over Copper bandwidth. It can be an eye-opener.

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

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