Monday, March 10, 2008

Gigabit Connection Services

If you are in need of really massive amounts of WAN bandwidth, you'll be looking at Gigabit connection services. This high level of bandwidth is indeed available, but you'll need to be in or near a location already lit for fiber optic service. That generally means within major metropolitan areas and especially within a carrier POP or Point of Presence. If so, you may find that 1,000 Mbps of connectivity can fit within the budget of even a medium size company.

Who needs Gigabit level bandwidth? Competitive telecom services vendors, of course. That includes the competitive carries with nationwide fiber optic routes. Their customers, perhaps yourself, include large medical centers, video production companies, Software as a Service providers, data centers, research organizations, large engineering companies and Cable MSOs. The list is growing every day. As businesses go more and more digital, their LAN and WAN bandwidth needs are increasing. So much so, that the availability of once unheard of metropolitan and long haul network bandwidths are becoming readily available.

The traditional fiber optic bandwidth service is called SONET for Synchronous Optical NETwork. It's a legacy telecom service based on TDM or Time Division Multiplexing technology. SONET is known for its development maturity, wide deployment, and reliability.

SONET service levels range between OC3 at 155 Mbps, to a typical Metro Ring at OC12 at 622 Mbps, and up to OC48 at 2.5 Gbps. There's also an OC24 level defined at 1.244 Gbps, but it is less common than OC48 service. OC24 and OC48 can be used to provide Gigabit WAN connections.

There are higher levels of service, but those are generally reserved for carrier backbones themselves. OC192 operates at 10 Gbps, OC256 at 13 Gbps, and OC768 at 40 Gbps. Some larger networks are now in the process of upgrading their routes to 100 Gbps, usually by bonding multiple fibers or fiber wavelengths.

The competing service to SONET is Gigabit Ethernet or GigE. This service is being heavily promoted by competitive carriers who are running IP rather than TDM networks. They can provide 10 Mbps Ethernet, 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet or 1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet directly from their POPs to your company via fiber optic line. Colocation services at carrier POPs or public colo centers make it easy to order GigE connections, since provisioning is as simple as dropping a cable from the carrier's equipment to yours. Even on terminations within your building, Ethernet usually has cost advantages over traditional SONET services.

Do you have a serious business need for high bandwidth connections, from 10 Mbps up to the Gigabit level? Find out what fiber optic bandwidth services are available for your location.

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

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