Entries with tag eoc .

Where to go next when your T1 needs upgrading

Many businesses in the US still use T1s for their data connection, even though it is an out-of-date technology.  T1s are based on early generation SONET fiber which was designed to carry large numbers of phone calls in the core of a telco network.  In these networks, the bandwidth is divided into 'containers' that are well-suited for phone calls but are irrelevant to the Internet and data that most of them are used for now.  These containers are traditionally a fixed size and inflexible, and depending on the mix of data and voice traffic that must be carried, can be very inefficient.  The advantage of a T1 is that it comes with a promise of the 99.99% 'four nines' reliability that you expect of the telephone network, which translates to less than an hour of downtime per year.  The disadvantage is that you are paying a significant amount per Mbyte for the bandwidth.

As with any access technology, your options depend on your location.  In urban areas, you probably have a choice of fiber to the premises—both business and consumer versions—Ethernet over copper (EoC), cable modems and DSL all of which will be much more cost effective than a T1.  You are likely to get a 10Mbit/s EoC connection or even 50Mbit/s fiber for less than the 1.5Mbit/s of a T1.  If you are in a rural area, T1s may be as good as it gets but it's worth checking whether high-speed wireless is available since it's likely to deliver higher speeds at a fraction of the price.

In general, business services come with better performance guarantees known as Service Level Agreements (SLA's).  For example, business service SLA's guarantee symmetrical bandwidth for both upstream and downstream traffic.  If your use is mostly email and web access, then a consumer grade fiber or cable service is fine.  If you are running servers on your premises that need to be accessed remotely, or if you are using a VoIP phone system, you need to be sure you have enough upstream capacity—the bandwidth quoted in consumer ads is likely to be for downstream only.  The key takeaway is that when your business is in the market for more bandwidth, do some investigation and don't just add another T1 or upgrade to DS3 without checking out the options available in your area.

Ethernet over Copper: A Great Way to Get Bandwidth for Your Business

If you're not a telecommunications specialist, you may not have heard of Ethernet over Copper (EoC). However, EoC provides a very affordable way to buy wide-area connectivity for your business network; it comes with the capacity of fiber and the performance guarantees of a T1 but at a fraction of the price—typically 10 Mbit/s Ethernet costs a few hundred dollars a month, about half the cost of fiber.

EoC uses the normal copper phone lines—up to eight bonded together—to provide the capacity your business needs. It's an enterprise class business service, unlike DSL and cable modems, so you get a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that guarantees your bandwidth and promises the 99.99% reliability that you expect of a phone network. This translates to less than an hour of downtime per year. It's the same technology that is used for the wired LAN (local area network) inside your office, so connecting the LAN to the WAN (wide area network) is simple and relatively inexpensive.

Depending how many copper pairs are used, EoC can deliver up to 100Mbit/s close to the exchange and over 5Mbit/s at distances of 9000 feet from the exchange. As with DSL, the speed declines the further you are from the exchange so more phone lines are needed to get the same speed over a longer distance. The bandwidth is usually symmetrical, unlike residential services which are geared to media downloads. This ensures that you’ll get the same bandwidth upstream as downstream, essential for running servers on your premises or using VoIP. As with all local access technologies, availability varies and smaller towns may not be covered.

If you’re looking into bandwidth options for your business, contact us to check out the EoC deals available in your area.