Q: What types of services are available over Ethernet fiber?
A: The Metro Ethernet Forum has standardized three popular services that are of interest to business users. Ethernet Private Line or E-Line is a dedicated point to point connection between two business locations or from your location to the Internet. Ethernet LAN or E-LAN provides a meshed network service that interconnects multiple locations. Ethernet Tree or E-Tree is a one to many connection popular with companies that distribute content to many subscribers.
Q: How do you connect multiple location LANs together
A: E-Line and E-LAN can do this easily. E-Line is appropriate for two locations to connect as a single bridged network. E-LAN makes sense for 3 or more locations, even those located internationally. E-LAN can make many separate LANs work like they are one larger network.
Q: What is Ethernet over SONET?
A: Most Ethernet providers offer a “native” Ethernet that powers their entire network. If you are in a location that can only get SONET, some carriers offer Ethernet that runs over the SONET fiber. From your prospective, this is the same as any other Ethernet over Fiber.
Q: Can Ethernet carriers interconnect?
A: Yes. The equipment that does this is called E-NNI or Ethernet Network to Network Interface. It allows service providers to seamlessly transfer network traffic back and forth. This allows both carriers to expand their service footprints to wider geographical areas.
Q: What are low latency fiber routes?
A: Most fiber networks strive to minimize latency or time delay between locations. Those advertised specifically as low latency routes are specially engineered to minimize the fiber route length using the straightest path available. They also minimize equipment along the route that can introduce additional latency. Low latency fiber services are in big demand for financial companies that deal in high speed trading.
Q: What is Metro Ethernet?
A: Metro Ethernet or MetroE is a fiber optic network that connects business and other locations within a limited geographic region, usually a single city or metropolitan area consisting of city and suburbs. MetroE connections can also connect to other locations nationally or worldwide.
Q: Does Ethernet support telephone service?
A: Ethernet is a great choice for enterprise VoIP phone service. A specialized service known as SIP Trunking connects your networked telephones or IP PBX to a distant service provider. The higher the bandwidth, the more simultaneous conversations can be supported. Traditional analog phones are better supported with analog phone lines or ISDN PRI service over T1 lines.
Q: Is Ethernet over Fiber distance limited like Ethernet over Copper?
A: No. Fiber offers unlimited transmission distance at any speed you wish. Most service providers have regional networks that serve multiple states or offer nationwide service. Some carriers connect worldwide using undersea cable between continents.
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You may also be interested in reading Fiber Optic Service FAQs, Part 1 and Part 3.