AboveNet, a major provider of fiber optic networking services in the US and Europe, is launching what they call a large “feeder ring” to connect office buildings, data centers, and carrier hotels to an existing fiber optic backbone that now serves the business districts of Irvine and Costa Mesa in Orange County, California.
Fiber optic connectivity has become the new battleground for competitive service providers as well as incumbent telcos. A major push has been the transition from legacy SONET/SDH to Gigabit Ethernet, 10 GigE and 40 GigE, MPLS networks, dark fiber and wavelength services. Networks are becoming more IP oriented, at the expense of traditional switched circuit TDM technologies. This plays well with the dominance of Ethernet networks in business and the move to converged voice, data and video networks.
Cloud services have opened up a further need for increased bandwidth. When companies had on-site data centers for their servers and storage, most traffic was contained within the building or campus LAN. Special links served overnight tape backup at offsite storage centers. Once computing and disk resources move to a colocation facility or a cloud services provider, there is a corresponding increase in WAN bandwidth requirements. With everything “out there,” a much higher portion of traffic leaves the company LAN.
AboveNet and other carriers are in a major push right now to expand their fiber optic network footprints in the US and abroad. Especially important are low latency networks to Europe and Asia to interconnect financial markets and major international businesses. Private networks require an enormous capital investment and the Internet is unsuitable for high performance, secure connections. That’s creating an opportunity for companies that specialize in metro and long haul fiber optic networks to jump in and fill the need.
Some services that are seeing more demand are IP transit to connect with the Internet backbone for companies that don’t have networks large enough to do their own peering, Ethernet Private Line and LAN services, global MPLS networking, and wavelength services that offer both very high bandwidth capacity along with flexibility of protocols.
Competitive pressures have also reduced the cost per Mbps for nearly all leased line services. This is true for even the ubiquitous T1 lines, but even more so for Ethernet connections of all types. Ethernet availability has expanded to such an extent that it is often far less expensive than T-Carrier or SONET in most metro areas. Gigabit Ethernet and 10 GigE WAN connections are now routinely ordered by larger business and organizations.
Is your company bandwidth starved or simply looking for better prices on existing network services? See if you can do better by checking prices and availability for fiber optic bandwidth.
Note: Orange County, CA photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.