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10, 100, 1000 Mbps Ethernet Fiber Optic Internet
The advantages of Ethernet as an upgrade for business broadband Internet access.

By: John Shepler

Are you feeling stymied by your company’s low Internet speeds? It’s to be expected. Today’s online applications are far more demanding than the static websites and text based email that were the norm when you got your first T1 line. Today, 10 Mbps can be considered entry level for most businesses. Demands for 100 Mbps and 1000 Mbps are entirely reasonable. So, what’s the best way to upgrade?

Movin’ On Up
You can sometimes get away with incrementally increasing your bandwidth as needs grow slowly. Bonded T1 lines can give you 3 to 12 Mbps in 1.5 Mbps steps. You need to order all your lines from the same provider and there will be equipment changes every time you want to step up. Even so, this can be the best option in rural areas where there isn’t much service available.

A competing approach is to order Ethernet over Copper rather than T1. It’s available in most metro areas, although not so much beyond the city limits. EoC can give you higher bandwidth levels, 3 to 20 Mbps, at lower cost than bonded T1 solutions. It’s distance sensitive, so the closer you are to the office supplying your service, the higher your bandwidth.

The best option today is looking more and more like Ethernet over Fiber. Yes, fiber optic service used to be rarely found and very expensive. The legacy SONET fiber services still are pricey, although they’ve come down dramatically in recent years. Ethernet over Fiber is a newer approach that offers a number of advantages for business users.

What Ethernet over FIber Offers
Ethernet over FIber (EoF) is pretty much like it sounds. It uses the same Ethernet protocol that runs on your company LAN, but adds some features that make it suitable for telecom carrier use. You’ll also hear it called Carrier Ethernet or Metro Ethernet. This is currently a metropolitan service. There isn’t much fiber in the boonies, although more is being installed all the time to boost the capability of cellular towers.

Because it’s Ethernet, EoF is easy to connect to your network. Your handoff from the service provider is a fiber or copper Ethernet connection. Plug it into your edge router and you’re in business

Ethernet over Fiber was designed to be highly scalable. That means upgrades are very easy and probably don’t need equipment changes. Compare that to legacy services that always required the carrier to swap out termination equipment and often took weeks and months to complete. With EoF, you make a phone call and your speed will be increased in a matter of hours or days. The latest offerings let your make changes on-demand. You can increase or decrease your bandwidth right from your computer.

How about bandwidth?
Ethernet over Fiber typically starts at 10 Mbps and goes up to 10 Gbps or more. Popular speeds mirror the standard Ethernet LAN speeds of 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, and 1000 Mbps. Actually, you can get many increments in-between these standards. If you like, start off at 10 Mbps and then upgrade to 20 or 30 Mbps and eventually move on up to 100 Mbps or more.

The one consideration that makes this easy is the port speed you install. That the speed of the connection to the provider’s equipment. You’ll want at least a 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet connection to provide 10 to 100 Mbps. If you expect to go into the hundreds of Mbps, you’ll want at least a Gigabit Ethernet port. Want more than 1 Gbps? Get a 10 Gbps port installed initially so you won’t need equipment changes from running out of port speed.

The Pleasant Cost Surprise
Many traditional and new carriers are now offering Ethernet over Fiber, since it has become so popular. This makes for a highly competitive marketplace and that’s great for you as a buyer. EoF pricing is far more attractive per Mbps than bonded T1, DS3 (T3), or any of the SONET (OC-3, OC-12, OC-48) services. You can easily find yourself paying half or less than you would with other telecom services. You retain highly reliable service with low latency, jitter and packet loss.

Does this sound like just the business Internet access you need now? Check out prices and available of Ethernet over Fiber bandwidth options for your business location now.

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