WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN PURCHASING METRO ETHERNET SERVICES?
Here are the highlights:
Upfront Fees: If your building is already “lit,” meaning fiber has already been extended to the building, there may be no upfront fees. If your building is not lit, there is going to be some expense to build fiber into your building. The real question is: who is going to pay for it? The answer: it depends. Let QueenCityFiber.net build a business case for you. Sometimes carriers are looking for a good excuse to extend their fiber footprint and can justify a no-cost build out for you.
Term Commitments: Every provider will ask you to commit to a 2, 3, or even 5 year contract. Of course, there are some excellent discounts for you if sign longer term agreements. Second, longer commitments are more likely to see the carrier absorb the entire construction cost (if construction is required).
Upgrade-ability: The great thing about Metro Ethernet is that you can quickly dial up your speed when it becomes necessary. You don’t have to buy extra capacity. Often you can be upgraded in less than 24 hours from your request. Some carriers will let you ‘burst’ for a specified time and only charge you for the time you burst.
Installation: Assuming the building you are in is “dark,” Fiber is that construction can take a 30 to 45 days and sometimes 60 to 90. Right-of-Entry permits, City permits, and construction crew schedules all have to align for you to get your fiber,
The other main difference between EoC and Metro-E is the bandwidth capacity. Electrons are used to communicate information over the copper conduit, and when electrons move down a wire to create a current, they create consequently a magnetic field. Simply put, magnetic fields act like a un-greased wheel on a car, creating a sort of electronic friction that slowly degrades the signal each foot traveled down the wire. Fiber, the transport media in Metro-Ethernet, is a tube of glass – surrounded by a dielectric coating, which conducts light, as in photons. Light, which does NOT generate a magnetic field, can be transmitted in a strand of fiber almost an unlimited distance at close to the speed of light – which we know is very fast. The primary limitation on fiber data transmission is the pace at which the physical switches and routers can process the information. Today’s best hardware, coupled with modern data compression techniques, allow for a transmission rate of 40 Gigabytes per second. Within the next five years it is expected that 100 Gig of capacity will be available through the fiber already in the ground. THAT is fast!
“So, why doesn’t everyone just use fiber-based Metro Ethernet?” you ask. There is little question that Fiber optic transmission is important to wide area network architecture. Several businesses have already made the decision (and investment) to deploy fiber in their private WAN networks. However, total “fiber miles” in the United States is still quite a bit lower than “copper miles”. This trend will continue until carriers and Cable companies invest billions of dollars to build up their fiber assets to reach the point of ubiquity with the copper network.