Metro Ethernet Offer
Faster Access Connectivity
If you are reaching the limits of
your T1 lines, a Metro Ethernet connection can really speed things
By: John Shepler
Businesses and organizations are bandwidth
hungry these days. With an increase in interactive Web applications,
cloud computing services, and electronic medical records, the
speed of doing business is starting to be limited by the availability
of WAN bandwidth. There's plenty of carrier bandwidth available
at decent prices. The real speed bump is in the last mile connection
from your location to the carrier's POP (Point of Presence).
In metropolitan and suburban areas, the cost effective answer
might be a move to Metro Ethernet.
What Metro Ethernet is All About
What is MetroEthernet? It's Ethernet transport that's compatible
with the Ethernet you run on your company computer network. But
this type of Ethernet is designed for the WAN (Wide Area Network)
rather than the LAN (Local Area Network). The generic term is
Carrier Ethernet. When provisioned for metropolitan area access
and connectivity, it's often called Metro Ethernet.
So what's the advantage of Metro Ethernet
over, say, a T1 line? Speed for one thing. A T1 line runs at
a fixed rate of 1.5 Mbps. You can order less speed with fractional
T1 service or you can bond T1 lines together to get higher speeds
of 3 to 12 Mbps. But that's about where T1 tops out. While it
is technically possible to bond even more lines together, it's
seldom cost effective. By the time you exceed 10 Mbps, it's usually
cheaper to bring in DS3 service at 45 Mbps over fiber optic cable.
Ways to Get Metro Ethernet
Metro Ethernet can also be provisioned over fiber optic cable
to give you standard Ethernet at 10 Mbps, Fast Ethernet at 100
Mbps or even Gigabit Ethernet at 1000 Mbps and 10 GigE at 10,000
Mbps. It's often significantly cheaper than traditional SONET
fiber optic services because Metro Ethernet is offered by competitive
carriers who have their own nationwide fiber backbones and fiber
within the metro areas. Since they completely control their network
assets and don't need to subcontract to local phone companies,
these carriers can often offer large cost reductions. That's
especially true when they are trying to establish a major presence
in an area.
Another service that you'll find with Metro
Ethernet that makes lower bandwidth services even more cost effective
is EoC or Ethernet over Copper. This is what it sounds like.
It's Metro Ethernet provisioned over multiple copper pair, similar
to T1 lines. But a different modulation technology is used for
EoC that is more efficient for packet transmission, but at a
tradeoff of being distance limited. In other words, you need
to be within a few miles of the nearest carrier POP to take advantage
of this service. If you qualify, you can get Ethernet over Copper
in bandwidths from 1 tonearly 50 Mbps at costs per Mbps often
well below other line services.
But what if you are located in a smaller
town or rural area? Remember those bonded T1 lines? You can probably
get bonded T1 service at 3, 6, 9 Mbps or more anywhere you can
get business telephone service. Sometimes you can get Ethernet
provisioned over DS1, which is similar to bonding T1 lines. Chances
are that either of these services will be far cheaper than bringing
in new fiber optic lines.
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