Marketplace Network News

Heads or Tails - Ethernet over Copper or Fiber?

Posted by Mary Stanhope on Tue, Jun 17, 2014

In today’s connected world, interconnecting business, partner and customer locations is one of the top factors in the success of a business. Adoption of Ethernet services has been driven by the benefits of cost, flexible bandwidth, ease of implementation, and a familiarity with Ethernet architecture already employed in corporate LANs.  

As in any real estate scenario, location is key.  The location will determine what Ethernet service is available to you.  Ethernet access transport can be done over breadth of access Ethernet over Any Accesstechnology: Ethernet over Fiber, Ethernet over Copper (EoC), Asymmetric-DSL, Ethernet over TDM (EoTDM).  Here are five things to consider when you are making the decision between EoC and Ethernet over Fiber.

  1. First understand the Ethernet access technologies to your locations, there may only be one option.  EoCu has the more ubiquitous coverage as it leverages existing telephone wire. In the US, only an estimated 38-42% of commercial buildings are connected to fiber.

  2. Take into consideration that, with EoC distance matters. Available network speed decreases the further a business location is from the central office. For that reason, EoC is far more effective in cities than it is in rural markets. Distance is not a consideration with Ethernet over Fiber.

  3. For the available service speeds, typically 10Mbps up to 45Mbps for short distances, EoC coverage is an affordable and cost competitive solution that is quick to deploy because it is comprised of pairs of existing telephone wire.  EoC is proving to be an attractive alternative to multiple T1 scenarios in both price and scalable bandwidth. The cost to build fiber into a building location for lower bandwidth services is often cost prohibitive for operators.

  4. EoCu does offer redundancy because of the previously alluded to “twisted pair” configuration. When one wire is cut for any reason, network speed slows but doesn’t crash, whereas a cut in a fiber cable disrupts the connection.  On the other hand, fiber is less affected by environmental factors than EoC.

  5. Ethernet over Fiber is a highly scalable transport technology compared to EoC, offering incremental bandwidth speeds from 1, 10, 100, 1000 up and beyond 10,000 Mbps, ensuring additional capacity is available as a company’s connectivity needs grow. 

Both EoC and Ethernet over Fiber can be the right solution for your business.  The trick is having the simple visibility into the services at your location to understand what options are available and how they best align with your business, application and connectivity needs.

For more information about how Global Capacity’s One Marketplace can simplify your network options, click here. 

Schedule a meeting with Global Capacity to review your connectivity requirements.

Topics: Ethernet, Access Network