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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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How to Tell You Need T1 Service

How can you tell when it is time to look for T1 service? There are several factors that should go into your decision to replace your current DSL connection with T1. For most companies, the biggest consideration is reliability.  If reliability is critical to the applications you run over your connection you should seriously consider replacing your DSL connection with a T1. DSL is a quick and cost effective method of acquiring high speed bandwidth however it is not intended to support commercial applications or large numbers of users as are T1 connections.

Reliability is critical when customers or employees depend on your connection for immediate responses. If you have customers that use your connection to access databases, your server, or the internet,  then reliability of your connection is critical. If you host the e-mail server in house or host web servers or ASP type products, your connection is considered critical. Should these connections go down, your business would be negatively impacted. A small monthly savings from having sub-par connections will not make up for the loss in productivity of your employees or loss of customers when your DSL connection are bogged down or cut off. Quite simply, critical connections should always be supported with a T1.

Many businesses cannot afford the cost of a T1 which can be as much as 20 times more expensive than a full T1 connection. Residential customers should not consider a T1 circuit unless then have a business reason to pay for such a circuit and cannot access DSL service, due to the high cost. For most residential applications, a DSL connection will suffice.  In many cases a DSL connection can be just as fast as a T1 at 1.5Mbps. The main problem with  DSL is that it is oversubscribed. This means there is a finite amount of bandwidth available for all customers, and you may see speed drop if other customers in the neighborhood decide to use their service at the same time. SDSL (Synchronous DSL) is a business class DSL and is ranked as a higher priority than residential DSL or ADSL (Asynchronous DSL). This means it is not oversubscribed to the extent than ADSL and is subject to fewer bandwidth restrictions. In short, if you are more concerned with price go with DSL. If reliability is your critical factor it is definitely worthwhile to purchase a dedicated T1.