Monday, December 10, 2007

Is Ethernet The End Of SONET Bandwidth Network Solutions?

Greg Collins and Mark Streaker wrote a great article in the Business Communication Review magazine about how Ethernet will eventually replace SONET. See Ethernet and SONET

[As a quick refresher for anyone needing it .... SONET establishes Optical Carrier (OC) levels from 51.8 Mbps (OC-1) to 9.95 Gbps (OC-192). OC3 bandwidth is probably the most common version in the business environment.]

Keep in mind that this article was published back in 2001, when the Internet bubble was in the midst of bursting.

Fast forward 6 years later and the telecommunication industry has fully recovered, carriers are now focusing on filling the capacity of their "dark fiber" sitting in the ground.

Mr. Collins has a great point, but at the pace at which carriers can afford to build out lit buildings I believe it will still be quite some time before we see the end of SONET. Investors aren't throwing money at Telecoms for more fiber like they did in the late 90's - carriers have to wait for existing footprint to fill up before charging up the next hill to plant their fiberous flag.

Now the other side of the build out assessment is more rosy in their view. Believing that leading carriers tend to be extremely willing to "lite" a building if reasonably close to their current presence .... and if the business case supports it. It may well be that we will soon see new carriers exploiting this space as (1) I agree the telcos are slow; and (2) the investment dollars appear to be coming back.

Keep in mind too that Ethernet over Copper, DS1, and DS3 are viable options currently. You do not have to physically be in a lit building to get fast and gig-E ethernet ..... when in fact you may still be able to get it if you are close enough to have the signal piped in using copper Cat-5, a naked DS1 or DS3 circuit.

If you want to get really technical and to the point about ethernet connectivity, here you go. Ethernet connectivity logically makes more sense than any other bandwidth connection that exists today ..... mainly because of the low cost compared to the traditional fiber connectivity. Let's face it, people are cost conscience nowadays due to the uncertainty of our economy and their cost of doing business. In all reality, if a business can surf faster, send emails and files faster, and so on ...... then time = $ and $ = time.

If your business is searching for an ethernet solution for your network infrastructure I suggest using this tool to find what's available to you: Ethernet Solution

If you're more inclined to use a SONET based solution try this free consultant service for assistance: OC3 Bandwidth Solution

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