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Ethernet over Copper Proliferating

Why Ethernet over Copper is the fastest growing wireline bandwidth service.

By: John Shepler

A combination of improved business conditions and productivity enhancements from automation are nudging, even pulling, companies toward higher bandwidth network connections. Rather than just order more of the same T1 or other line services, savvy managers are taking a fresh look at new technology that offers more bandwidth for less money. What’s the hottest WAN network service of them all? It’s Ethernet over Copper.

Uses Ordinary Copper Telco Line
Ethernet over Copper, or EoC as it’s called for short, is pretty much what it sounds like. It is an Ethernet line service delivered over ordinary twisted pair copper wiring. That’s the same twisted pair copper that is now bundled into a multi-pair cable and already installed in nearly every business location. Some of those wires are used for multi-line telephone service. Others for T1 or other broadband line service.

Special Terminal Equipment Makes It Work
What an EoC provider does is lease some of the copper pairs from the incumbent local telephone company that owns them. Just the bare wires are needed without signals of any kind. Then the provider installs special terminal equipment at each end of the circuit. This terminal equipment uses efficient modulation techniques along with interference cancellation technology to get the highest bandwidth possible consistent with maximum reliability.

Easy LAN / WAN Interface
So what can Ethernet over Copper give you that T1 lines can’t? For one thing, the interface between LAN and WAN is trivial. Since you already have Ethernet running on your local area network, it is directly compatible with an Ethernet service connecting you to the outside world. Just plug the WAN Ethernet service into your edge router and you are connected. There is no need for special CSU/DSU interface cards or other equipment to translate between dissimilar protocols. It’s Ethernet all the way.

T1 Bandwidth Is By Line
T1 lines tend to be provisioned in units of 1.5 Mbps. If you want more bandwidth, you need to install another line. Still need more bandwidth? Then order another line to be bonded-in and wait for it to be installed.

Ethernet Bandwidth is Scalable
Ethernet bandwidth tends to be highly scalable. Ethernet over Copper service typically starts at 1 to 3 Mbps and goes up to a maximum of 45 Mbps in just about any increment you want. The sweet spot is around 10 Mbps. That’s the bandwidth that many companies desire and it is easily delivered over copper. How much bandwidth you can get at any location depends on how close you are to the provider’s POP or Point of Presence. Nearby, it’s easy to get high bandwidths. A few miles away, you may have limited choices.

Carriers Increasing Service
Just how hot is Ethernet over Copper. TelePacific, a major competitive service provider, is adding dozens of new Ethernet over copper wire centers by the end of 2011 just to meet the rising demands in its service footprint. High bandwidths up to 1 Gbps will be provided over fiber optic connections.

Ethernet over Copper is Lower Cost
The rush to EoC is about more than bandwidth. It’s highly influenced by the lower costs that Ethernet services offer. Nationwide, you can typically get 3 Mbps Ethernet for the cost of a 1.5 Mbps T1 line. Cost savings at higher bandwidths are as good or better. The only thing limiting the meteoric rise of Ethernet right now is how fast carriers can deploy the service to every business location.

Is It Right For You?
Could you benefit from the EoC revolution? Find out quickly and easily with a quick cost and availability quote for Ethernet over Copper service.

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