What’s responsible for prices per Mbps or Gbps that can be half of what you’d expect to pay or less? It’s a source you would never expect... Cable TV. Cable? Isn’t that for consumers?
Yes it is. But behind the scenes there’s another Cable network you probably didn’t know even existed. It’s a professional fiber optic core network that’s the equal of any carrier and with a service footprint larger than most.
When we think of Cable TV, we think of the coaxial wire that plugs into a set top box or cable modem. At one time, all cable networks were constructed almost completely of copper coax strung on poles around town and trenched through the back yard. That was the era of Analog Cable. What’s happened over the years is that this network architecture has evolved into a combination of fiber optic and copper called HFC or Hybrid Fiber Coax that supports the newer digital services.
HFC uses fiber optics for the long runs that bring service into a business or residential neighborhood. It also runs between cities for large Cable MSOs (Multi-System Operators) like Comcast. Most of the traffic on that fiber is television video, but there is so much bandwidth available that it also easily transports data from 10 Mbps on up to 10 Gbps.
Comcast has recognized that their nationwide network runs past businesses as well as consumers. Many smaller businesses take advantage of the excellent pricing on Cable broadband brought in on coaxial cable to a cable modem. It’s quite possible to get 50 Mbps or even 100 Mbps asymmetrical shared bandwidth for the same pice as a T1 line.
Asymmetrical means that the download speed is much higher than the upload speed. Typically that’s a 10x bandwidth difference. This is common for Internet access, but different from business telecom services that are generally symmetrical or the same speed for both upload and download.
Comcast’s Ethernet over Fiber bandwidth services are symmetrical and intended for Enterprise applications. There are 4 services you’ll be interested in. They are Ethernet Dedicated Internet (EDI), Ethernet Private Line (EPL), Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) and Ethernet Data Network / Meshed Network (EDN). All of these services are available in bandwidths from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps.
Ethernet Dedicated Internet gives you the Internet access you need to support large employee user bases and connectivity with customers worldwide. Dedicated means that the bandwidth you order is always available for your use. That differs from shared bandwidth that is common for consumer services and wireline cable modems.
Ethernet Private Line (EPL) is a point to point connection service. You may be using T1 lines for linking two business locations now and wishing you had more bandwidth. EPL using Ethernet over Fiber can give you the higher bandwidth you need immediately with nearly unlimited growth potential for the future.
Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) is another Ethernet private line service. It is similar to EPL, but allows multiple Ethernet services on the same physical line and UNI (User Network Interface). These come in on EVCs or Ethernet Virtual Connections. What the virtualization does is let you run Ethernet Private Lines out to each of several business locations without having to pay for multiple fiber or wireline terminations at headquarters.
Ethernet Data Network / Meshed Network (EDN) lets you establish a large Metro or Wide Area Network to interconnect LANs for your branch offices or other business locations. As a meshed network, you have any to any connectivity. This is similar to might set up with a Frame Relay or MPLS network.
Are you ready for fiber optic bandwidths but not fiber optic service prices? Depending on locations, you may be in position to benefit from the enormous cost advantage of HFC based Ethernet over Fiber bandwidth services. Get pricing and availability before you sign up for anything else.