Q: What is Ethernet over Copper service?
A: Ethernet over Copper is a digital line service that transmits Ethernet network signals over twisted pair telecom cabling. It essentially transports your LAN traffic over metropolitan and wide area networks.
Q: How does EoC relate to T1 line service?
A: Both EoC and T1 use the same twisted pair telephone cable installed by the incumbent local telephone company. The modulation technology for EoC is different from what is used for T1, so the performance of the line services each have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Q: Why would you order Ethernet over Copper instead of T1?
A: The advantages of EoC include higher available bandwidth at lower cost that equivalent T1 line services and easy scalability. There are also Ethernet services available that T1 doesn’t support.
Q: Does T1 still make sense in light of EoC?
A: T1 has the advantages of nearly unlimited availability and a locked-in line speed that isn’t related to how far you are from the telco office. You can get T1 line service in rural areas where Ethernet over Copper does not yet reach. A special type of T1 line called ISDN PRI is popular for PBX telephone trunking. EoC is has no direct equivalent.
Q: What bandwidth levels are available with Ethernet over Copper?
A: Entry level service is typically 2 or 3 Mbps, compared with 1.5 Mbps for T1 lines. Just about any increment in service level is available. Popular bandwidths are 3, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25 and 30 Mbps. In some cases, you can get as much as 50 or 100 Mbps over copper.
Q: Does this mean that EoC can replace fiber?
A: EoC and be a viable alternative to fiber optic service in the lower speeds that fiber operates. Some companies don’t need the full fiber bandwidth of OC3 at 155 Mbps or even DS3 (a fiber/copper hybrid) at 45 Mbps. For these applications, 10 or 20 Mbps may be fast enough and offer a considerable cost savings.
Q: How do you connect to EoC service?
A: The service provider will install a piece of CPE or Customer Premises Equipment at your location. This device will have an Ethernet port that is similar to what you find on any other piece of network equipment. You just plug it in to your edge router or switch and you’ll have connectivity.
Q: What is meant by easy scalability?
A: Traditional telecom services are designed for very specific bandwidths that aren’t easily changed. If you upgrade service, that means a “truck roll” to install a new interface and possibly a long wait while the carrier make the network changes necessary to support a higher bandwidth to your location. The Ethernet over Copper CPE has an Ethernet port with a maximum speed, typically 100 Mbps or 1 Gbps. As long as you don’t need more than the maximum bandwidth supported, you can change to a higher or lower speed service in a matter of hours or days, rather than weeks or months.
Does EoC sound like a service that might work for your business connectivity needs? If so, find out what Ethernet over Copper bandwidths and costs are available for your location.
You may also be interested in reading Ethernet over Copper FAQ (Part 2) and Ethernet over Copper FAQ (Part 3).