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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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T3 Connection FAQ

What is a T3 connection?  It  is a point-to-point dedicated line that provides 672 64-Kbps voice or data channels.  In other words, 28 T1 lines. A T3 is used to transmit digital signals at 44.736 megabits per second and has enough bandwidth to transmit full-motion real-time video, and very large databases over a busy network. Examples of situations where a  T3 line would be installed would be a large corporation or university with high volume network traffic.

Should you determine down the road that your application needs more capacity, you often have to buy it in the next available increment.  This could end up costing more than you want or can afford to spend. Another consideration should be that  some current "bursty" applications may have temporary yet critical requirements for additional bandwidth.  Service providers can now help customers deal with fluctuating traffic needs by providing flexible capacity, or "bandwidth on demand." Thus, companies can avoid having  a high fixed monthly payment if it is not necessary. A true bandwidth-on-demand service should allow for a wide range in capacity.

Although a burstable T3 is available for purchase by anyone, this type of connection may be costly, even as costly as a full 45Mbps connections. A colocation facility is one way to get access to burstable lines at a lower cost.  At a colocation facility, or "colo", many users share a large OC3 or OC12 pipe. This means that you would have the benefit of being able to burst up to very high speeds as necessary without the high price.  If you find yourself needing the reliability of a large pipe for occasional busty traffic but don't have the capital consider a colo.  However, if you have a consistent steady volume, it may be in your best interest to keep services in house and go ahead and get a T3 connection. No matter which route you determine would be the best to go, be sure you use a broker to help guide you through the providers and plans available.