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Fiber Too Expensive? Try EoC

As business applications become more and more demanding and dependent on IP and Ethernet protocols, Carrier Ethernet has emerged as the WAN technology of choice for enterprise access.  Carrier Ethernet promises an efficient, simple, scalable and cost-effective solution whether you are using it for dedicated internet access, connections to cloud applications, or VPN. 

Ethernet for business applications is estimated to grow substantially through 2015.  Of course, fiber optic connectivity is the preferred method service, but Ethernet over Copper (EoC) has become a strategic choice as well for its competitive price and service.  There are a few main reasons why companies may choose EoC, among them :

1.  It’s Ethernet.  Some new technologies promising broadband service may only be used for internet access or basic voice service.  Ethernet meets business-class symmetric service requirements, providing scalable, reliable and manageable features.  EoC delivers the service businesses have come to expect. 

2.  Fiber options may be very limited.  Currently only about 30% of businesses have access to fiber.  The cost to upgrade is very expensive, and it takes anywhere from 6-18 months to install.  Many companies do not want to wait that long, or invest so much money in the service.  Most facilities are connected to the legacy copper voice network, which makes it easy to transition to EoC in a matter of weeks.  Many providers have found they can increase speeds ten-fold with EoC, which may be enough for most companies.

3.  EoC is on par with fiber.  Nearly all service providers have multiple service classes, including many premium products,  in order to deliver the customer experience your company needs.  Most of them are able to provide a service equal to fiber-based Ethernet services.

4. Innovations in technology have advanced EoC capabilities.  New generations of EoC edge and aggregation equipment have increased capabilities to over 15 Mbps symmetric per copper pair, and providers can now deploy 200+ Mbps Ethernet.  This gives you the service at a fraction of the cost. 

The popularity of carrier Ethernet for business WAN service creates the demand that can’t be completely met with fiber.  Advances in EoC give businesses a good alternative that provides equal service at a fraction of the cost.

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Finding the Right T1 Provider

Finding the right T1 provider can seem like a daunting task.  There are so many companies to choose from in today’s market.  The contract with a T1 provider for reasonable amount of bandwidth or voice service will be long term, much like a marriage.  And everyone knows there are good and bad marriages!  Be educated so you can make the best choice for your company’s needs.  Most telecommunications contracts for T1's and T3's typically range from 1 to 3 years. Anything longer than a 3 year contract is usually only seen in very large applications like OC3 and OC12 or complex frame relay connections with many nodes. 1 to 3 years may not seem like a long time,  but it can be endless if you are with the wrong provider.

It is a good idea to enlist the services of a broker as you wade through your options and review all the providers and services available. A broker or independent agent can help reduce the time it takes you to shop around for a T1 provider by ascertaining your needs and then researching  multiple providers to find the service that is right for you. The agent will also help you to avoid the bias you will encounter when speaking with each vendor as the agent will be paid no matter which service you choose. As the agent doesn't work with a specific provider (such as AT&T or Sprint) he or she will not push you in that direction if that is not the best option for your business.

Keep in mind that the T1 provider you select will be your partner for quite some time so be sure to take your time in making your decision. You do not want to be stuck  with poor service as that will negatively affect your business. Frequent dropped calls or loss of internet connection  can be disastrous to a business. Our research has found that larger companies such as  AT&T and Sprint will release clients from long term contracts it if is shown that the voice or data T1 service was faulty on a regular basis.  However,  the release from such a contract will not help recoup the damages of the lost calls and e-mails as a result of poor service. When shopping for a T1 provider be sure you use a reliable broker and always ask for referrals from current customers to give you an indication of what you can expect.