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Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) At Work

The new MEN of the telecom world are Metro Ethernet Networks, at your service.

By: John Shepler

When you’ve got packets to move and lots of them, you need MEN (Metro Ethernet Networks) to get them from point A to point B. If your MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) doesn't have the strength to carry your network connection, then you need to put some MEN to work quickly and at a reasonable cost.

What is a Metro Ethernet Network?
Metro Ethernet is rapidly becoming the connectivity solution of choice in downtown and suburban areas for two reasons. Compared to traditional telecom solutions, they are fast and they are cheap.

Normally fast and cheap don’t go together, at least in the technology world. If you want more bandwidth, you pay more money. It’s a simple and longstanding relationship. Well, the new MEN in town are going to change all that. Metropolitan Ethernet offers the connectivity you need from point to point or multipoint to multipoint at prices per Mbps that can be half that of high bandwidth SONET services and even less than T1 lines.

Standardized Telecom Service Matched to Your LAN Network
Metro Ethernet is a fairly new business-grade telecom service that has been standardized by the Metro Ethernet Forum, an industry standards group. The move from circuit switched telecom to packet switched networks, such as Ethernet, is based on the almost universal adoption of Ethernet as the local area networking protocol of choice. If every LAN is running Ethernet, then why do a protocol conversion between the local network and the wide area network only to get the packets across town?

Why, indeed? When all inter-location connections were under the control of local telephone companies, then telephone company standards defined the services available. Now that competitive carriers have entered the marketplace with their own networks based on IP rather that telco TDM standards, there’s no good reason not to keep the networks and all their connections as Ethernet. Interfacing is trivial, network efficiency is improved, and scalable service levels are much easier to provide. It’s not unusual to be able to purchase Metro Ethernet services in 1 Mbps increments and add bandwidth when your business needs dictate.

All The Bandwidth You Need At Lower Prices Than You Expect
Just how powerful are these Metro Ethernet Networks? They range in bandwidth from 1 Mbps on up, although 10 Mbps Ethernet, 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet and 1000 Gigabit Ethernet levels are very popular as they mirror the standard LAN and network interface speeds. Lower bandwidth services, including standard 10 Mbps Ethernet, may be provisioned over copper as well as fiber to save construction costs for buildings that are not “lit” for fiber service. You need to be reasonably near a carrier’s facilities for Ethernet over Copper or EoC to work.

Would you benefit by putting real MEN to work for your organization? If so, now is the time to check pricing and availability of Metropolitan Ethernet Network services for your location.

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