Why high capacity Ethernet should be considered a worthy competitor of Optical

When it comes to high capacity connectivity, there are a number of options that tend to lead the way. The most popular being Dark Fibre and Optical.

Dark Fibre supports large businesses with higher security, higher bandwidth requirements, due to its nature it is expensive but offers near limitless capacity. Optical is often seen as the go-to solution for companies looking for a reliable high capacity service without the price tag.

Yet, more recently we’ve seen interest in a more cost-effective alternative, high capacity Ethernet. Currently delivered in capacities ranging from 10Mbps to 1Gbps, Ethernet is already known for its robust, flexible and affordable service. It therefore makes sense that introducing a higher capacity version of this well-loved solution would make for a good alternative to the more traditional high capacity choices.

It was this thinking led us to the recent introduction of our 10Gbps Ethernet connectivity.

But with a new choice, comes the understandable concerns around service, delivery and performance. Here’s the five most common questions that have been raised by our partners:

1) Will this new high capacity Ethernet be available in my area?

Our high capacity Ethernet services span the UK. To date we have 10Gbps Ethernet connectivity available in 159 of our on-net exchanges, with plans in the coming months to add 10Gbps capability to 18 more. If our high capacity network doesn’t reach your site, we work with a number of third-party providers to help get you to your end destination. In addition to this, we’ve been working on expanding our network even further over the next 12 months and are hoping to announce the unbundling of a number of new exchanges shortly. Watch this space.

2) Will the network suffer from congestion?

Our Ethernet platform is built on a multiple 100Gbps core, meaning congestion isn’t a concern. We’ve ensured that we have a large backhaul capability so that we can deliver high capacity data usage.

Should we get to a stage where our network is starting to fill up, we have the ability to quickly deploy an additional 100Gbps. And another, and another.

3) Is the bandwidth and throughput guaranteed?

We can say with certainty that yes both the bandwidth and throughput are guaranteed.

As already touched on, we can deliver the agreed bandwidth thanks to our 100Gbps core network and ability to scale. When our network nears capacity, we’ll extend the network capability so that your bandwidth doesn’t suffer.

When it comes to throughput, we promise that the capacity you order is the capacity that will be delivered. Whereas some providers may supply you with reduced capacity owing to network overheads, we make sure that any overheads don’t impact your contracted allowance.

4) What happens if there is an obstruction on the line?

We have built our network out in loops, with each string housing, on average, four to five exchanges. By creating our network topology in this way, we ensure maximum security on the connection.

Should there be an issue, the service will automatically re-route in the opposite direction. This east and west routing was key when we looked at designing our network. The diagram gives a prime example of how the service would re-route should an obstruction appear on the line.

5) Will the service delivery be slower than Optical?

We’ve taken every step to ensure that our 10Gbps Ethernet service is sold, provisioned and delivered in the same way as a 1Gbps Ethernet solution would be. By offering the solution ‘as standard’ not only can you place the order directly through our online pricing and ordering tool, LIVEQUOTE, once the order is in motion the majority will meet our standard delivery timescales of 20 working days (for an on-net solution).

With Optical, delivery is dependent on survey completion and the purchasing of additional ports and equipment meaning that standard on-net delivery timescales can range from 20 working days to anywhere upwards of 60. While this works for many businesses, where you have a more immediate requirement it makes sense that high capacity Ethernet is a good fit.

Your high capacity options have just opened up

It’s fair to say that there is still very much a place for Optical and Dark Fibre services. But equally, there is now also place for high capacity Ethernet. Which service is right, very much depends on your business requirements and, of course, your budget.

If you have a high capacity requirement and are unsure which route to take, get in contact with us today and we’ll be happy to help guide you through what we believe is right for your business.

Want to learn more about our 10Gbp capable Ethernet network? Find out about Edge 3, the initiative that enabled our high-capacity services, here.

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