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Ethernet Demand Almost Insatiable

Bandwidth intensive business applications are demanding faster speeds at affordable lease prices.

By: John Shepler

Not so long ago, 10 Gbps was considered an enormous amount of bandwidth. So enormous that it only made sense for carrier backbone networks. Not anymore. Now enterprises are gobbling up that much WAN bandwidth and looking for more.

What Businesses Require Massive Bandwidth?
Who could possibly require 10 Gbps, short of an Internet service provider or MPLS network operator? Financial services, streaming entertainment media and medical campus connectivity are three applications on the cutting edge of high bandwidth demand. How much more would they like? Some are licking their chops at 40 Gbps and even 100 Gbps.

Ethernet Rising To Meet Demand
How can a carrier keep up? Make no mistake about it, competitive service providers are in a scramble to make sure they have enough capacity to supply this burgeoning demand for higher and higher bandwidths. The once impressive T1 line is now considered a small business service. DS3 still hangs on for medium size business applications. OCx SONET, recently the darling of large enterprises, is starting to see its flame flicker on the way out. What’s happening is more than a simple escalation of bandwidth requirements. It’s a wholesale move from legacy telecom services to Ethernet connectivity.

Why Ethernet?
There are a couple of strong forces at work nudging WAN bandwidth suppliers in the direction of offering Ethernet rather than some other type of connection. The first is a realization that analog telephony, the impetus behind the buildout of the massive PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), is now the smallest piece of the bandwidth pie. It’s the PSTN standards of T-Carrier & SONET that created the digital WAN services that have been pressed into service for data packet transport. The big piece of the pie is digital data and biggest piece of that pie is video.

Company Networks Already Ethernet
No only are data packets the predominant information that needs to be moved from one place to another, but the networks generating those data packets are nearly all based on Ethernet. Why switch to something else just to get from one Ethernet network to another?

Ethernet Bandwidth is Cheaper
That’s what many carriers have concluded. Their new state of the art national and international networks are all designed to transport Ethernet packets. Those packets may represent voice from enterprise VoIP telephone systems, video conferencing or video streaming, medical images, or data file transfers. Interfacing and management of Ethernet bandwidth is more compatible with local area networks running Ethernet, but that’s not all. In most cases, Ethernet bandwidth is cheaper on a Mbps or Gbps basis than any other service.

How much cheaper?
That depends on what facilities are available in your location more than anything. If you have competitive Ethernet services available, it’s not uncommon to get twice the bandwidth for the same money or keep the bandwidth you have now and get a big cost savings.

Can you ignore the Ethernet revolution?
Only at the peril of your budget! It’s quick and easy to see what Ethernet bandwidth services are available for your business location. Why not take just a minute and put in a request for services and pricing now?

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