What is Ethernet over Copper Service?
By: John Shepler
Ethernet over Copper (EoC) is perhaps the most exciting new business bandwidth service available. Any company currently using T1 lines, DS3 bandwidth or other connection services needs to compare what they have with Ethernet over Copper options. Why? Because the cost and bandwidth benefits are too great to ignore.
What is Ethernet over Copper?
Let’s take a look at what’s behind EoC and how it compares with competing telecom services. First, let’s define Ethernet over Copper. You’re certainly familiar with Ethernet, the near universal standard protocol of local area networks. This is also Ethernet, but extended for metropolitan and wide area network transmission.
What’s special about Ethernet as a connection service? Other services, like the venerable T1 line, are products of telephone technology. They use transmission standards and technologies that aren’t directly compatible with computer networks. They can be interfaced, of course, with the appropriate protocol and signal conversions. This is why you can’t just plug a T1 line into any LAN switch or router. You need an interface card to make the two networks, LAN and telecom, compatible.
Ethernet End To End
Ethernet over Copper is already in the right protocol. Your connection to the outside world is a common RJ-45 jack. It’s like extending your network over miles or even hundreds to thousands of miles. In practice, the service provider will often install a managed router as Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) to connect their network to yours. This way, they can monitor the MAN or WAN network automatically to ensure that everything is working the way it should and take corrective action if problems arise.
Importance of Copper
The term Ethernet over Copper may seem obvious, but there is an important distinction to be made. In this case copper doesn’t refer to Cat 5e or Cat 6 cabling. It is referring to the twisted copper pair telecom cable that connects your facility to the local telco office.
Telco Wiring Already Installed
Telephone wire? Yes, indeed. This is one of the secrets to the general availability and low cost of Ethernet over Copper services. Nearly every company has multiple copper pair cabling already installed and hooked-up for telephone service. The pairs that aren’t used for telephone lines are available to supply T1, ISDN PRI or Ethernet over Copper.
At 400 COs, Some Near You
For Ethernet over Copper service to be available, the central office that connects at the far end of the telco cable for your building needs to have EoC equipment installed. MegaPath, a major provider of Ethernet over Copper as well as other telecom services, has over 400 central offices (COs) nationwide already set to connect Ethernet over Copper. This includes major metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Newark, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC. This year they are expanding to include Austin, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Newark New Jersey, Portland Oregon, Sacramento and Tamp. Other providers are equally aggressive and deploying EoC technology as fast as they can.
More Bandwidth, Lower Cost
So, what’s all the excitement about Ethernet over Copper? It’s primarily more bandwidth at lower prices for businesses. This is a business service, not targeted for consumers. The primary competition is T1 lines and DS3 bandwidth connections. For instance, MegaPath’s basic 2 x 2 Mbps EoC directly replaces a 1.5 Mbps T1 line. You might think that you’d have to pay more for the extra bandwidth, but actually it’s less. Prices are about the same for T1 lines and 3 x 3 Mbps EoC. That’s twice the bandwidth for the same money.
Easily Scales As Needed
What’s more, Ethernet technology is more easily scaled than T1. You can bond T1 lines together to get 3, 4.5, 6, 7.5, 9, 10.5 or 12 Mbps. The cost of the service is the cost of one T1 line times the number of lines bonded. Ethernet over Copper also uses multiple copper pair, but the bandwidth goes up much faster than the pricing. MegaPath is offering up to 45 Mbps EoC service in some areas. That’s equivalent to a DS3 connection supplied over fiber optic link at a higher cost.
Do you have proactive monitoring of your current telecom circuit? Are you guaranteed 99.99% reliability backed up by a Service Level Agreement (SLA)? Can you easily scale bandwidth to grow your business quickly? Are you paying more than you would have to by sticking with older technology?
EoC For Your Business
If these questions have you wondering, you should see what you are missing. Why not get an instant online Ethernet over Copper price quote to see what bandwidths are available for your location and what they cost. If you like what you see, rapid ordering and provisioning service is readily available.
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