The choices of dedicated bandwidth solutions for business computer networks today is as varied as the menu at your favorite fancy restaurant. You could see bonded T1 lines (NxT1), DS3 bandwidth circuits, SONET (Optical Carrier Series such as OC3), Metro-Ethernet (e.g. Business Ethernet at 10 - 1000 mbps), MPLS, and much more.
Making a selection can be just as confusing ….. especially if you really don't understand the language the menu is written in. You're hungry (or in this case your company's data/voice network is) ….. and all you care about is getting that hunger fed!
Besides the variety in bandwidth “menu” items to choose from …. you have to deal with variety of price and performance. Which is “best” for your specific situation? What do you (sic your company) have a taste for AND what are you willing to pay to get that satisfied?
Therein lays the 2 main questions that need to be answered to make the right selection for you. You can narrow your decision making process down to these.
One ….. what network requirements does the bandwidth solution chosen need to meet. And two ….. is the associated cost of that solution within your budget. After all, what you choose has to “fill you up”. Plus, unlike when the cost of your fancy meal exceeds the contents of your wallet ….. you can't work it off “doing the dishes”.
Here's a few tips to help ….
The majority of today's growing businesses can narrow the items they look at on the menu to 2 …. Business Ethernet and DS3 bandwidth circuits. Others may be appropriate under certain circumstances …. but by far these are the 2 best fits for most company data/voice networks. Both of these will meet most any requirement you'll have … and both are very cost effective in today's market (more on that later).
So this makes things simpler …. simply choose between Business Ethernet and DS3 bandwidth for your solution core.
You will obviously want flexibility, simplicity and scalability in your chosen technology enabling you to converge your networks and achieve economies of scale and innovation. This is the requirements that the choice must meet …. or what you pick off the menu must “feed”. Both Business Ethernet and DS3 bandwidth will meet these requirements …. but they still have differences to consider.
Business Ethernet ......
With that in mind …. think of it this way. What DSL did for residential customers, Business Ethernet does for enterprises. Ethernet is broadband for businesses and with it, you'll become more efficient and competitive. Network interfacing and scalability are smoother and more transparent. Business Ethernet also is provided with the same service level guarantees offered with other network bandwidth solutions. Such as the all important SLA (Service Level Agreement) and Qos (Quality of Service).
By far the greatest advantage of Business Ethernet is price. The monthly cost can be as much as one-half of the price of equivalent bandwidth delivered in the form of bonded T1 lines or fractional DS3 circuits. Also, since some configuration options are delivered over regular copper phone lines, they normally do not require build-out. For this reason, they can often be installed for free, whereas other Ethernet options often require build-out for buildings which are not lit. A third advantage of Business Ethernet is that it requires far less sophisticated customer premise routing equipment. An ethernet configuration provides a handoff that does not require expensive CSU/DSUs that are required for customer interfacing with T1 or DS3 lines. Additionally …. depending on the delivery technology used ….. Business Ethernet also can be more reliable and have a greater redundancy than the alternatives.
Now for the caveat ….. all forms of Business Ethernet (e.g. Metro Ethernet) are dependent on local access. The limiting factor is that Business Ethernet requires special forms of wiring, or fiber. Buildings which have this special wiring, or fiber running to them, are referred to as “lit” buildings. To light an unlit building, “build-out” often is needed. Build-out is often extremely expensive. Imagine the costs of running fiber from the local central office (CO) to a specific business location, often several miles. That can quickly run up your bill …. putting you in danger of “washing the dishes”. In rare occasions, some providers will waive this cost in return for very long contracts, or recuperate it with higher monthly costs. If your business location happens to be within a mile of a lit CO, then build-out costs might be justified for very large bandwidth pipes. For buildings which are already lit, and for collocation facilities, Business Ethernet can offer extreme savings per mbps of bandwidth.
The bottom line take-away here is that with the growing availability of Business Ethernet it is the logical choice ….. IF it is available at the location(s) you need serviced. That's a big if …. so make sure you do thorough research on Business Ethernet availability at your desired location(s). Or better yet …. get help to do it.
DS3 Bandwidth .....
As for DS3 bandwidth circuits ….. A DS3 line is an ultra high-speed connection capable of transmitting data at rates up to 45 Mbps. A DS3 line is equal to approximately 672 regular voice-grade telephone lines, which is fast enough to transmit full-motion, real-time video, and very large databases over a busy network. DS3 bandwidth is the common choice by businesses who have outgrown old T1 line networks …. and require high-bandwidth access at a reduced price.
The advantages of a DS3 bandwidth based network solution are that it's widely available, it's a proven technology that is easily integrated into today's newer network configuration options, AND the price has dropped dramatically in recent years ….. making DS3 more competitive on price point than at any time in the past.
Now that you've had the menu interpreted for you ……
To make the best choice you can boil it all down to this decision approach …. if Business Ethernet is available; get it. If it is not available …. opt for a DS3 bandwidth based solution package. We’ll provide you the best pricing on quotes for both above.