Ethernet Internet Connections Are
Direct access to the Internet over
Metro and Carrier Ethernet connections are a reality for many
By: John Shepler
Internet access has come a long way since
the days of 300 baud modems. But regardless of speed, Internet
connectivity has always been through a conversion process from
some protocol to the Ethernet that runs on company LANs and PC
network cards. If only one could get to the Internet via Ethernet
itself. Well, now you can.
Why Ethernet in the Last Mile
Last mile access via Ethernet is rapidly gaining popularity in
metropolitan areas. Why? Primarily because of the cost savings,
although ease of network interfacing is also a consideration.
An Ethernet access connection is often
called Metro Ethernet service because it is intended primarily
for use within city or downtown portion of a city. A more generic
term is Carrier Ethernet. As a core networking technology, Ethernet
for WAN (Wide Area Networks) provides a direct extension of your
company network across town, across the country, or to other
networks such as the Internet.
Why You Want Dedicated Internet Access
DIA or Dedicated Internet Access is the gold standard for business
connections to the Internet. Dedicated means that you have exclusive
use of the line and it's bandwidth back to the Internet. Consumer
grade services, such as DSL, WiFi, and Cable broadband, are all
shared services. With shared services, the quality of your service
is highly dependent on what your neighbors are doing online.
With dedicated access, any contention for service will be limited
to your own company.
T1 lines are standard for DIA service at
1.5 Mbps. They can be bonded up to 10 or 12 Mbps. Beyond that
you need fiber optic services, such as OC3 or DS3 over SONET.
These can be pricey services, especially when the local telephone
company is involved in providing the complete service or last
From T1 to Ethernet
Ethernet access connections are something new. Many competitive
carriers have their own fiber optic networks and will directly
connect you for 10, 100, or 1000 Mbps Ethernet service. You'll
get a better price because they do not share facilities with
Another option is EoC or Ethernet over
Copper. You can get up to 45 Mbps Ethernet service, including
dedicated Internet access, if you are located nearby a carrier
point of presence. Service is delivered over multiple twisted
copper pair using an advanced modulation scheme.
Standard Ethernet Connectivity
I mentioned ease of network Interface. With Metro Ethernet service
your access connection is a standard RJ-45 jack, just like the
ones you'd expect to find on a switch or router. What's coming
into that jack is the same Ethernet protocol that you are running
on your LAN.
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