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Ethernet Port Service Offers Scalable Bandwidth
Order Ethernet port service to gain the advantage of scalable bandwith on short notice

By: John Shepler

You may have noticed that your WAN network requirements are getting hard to predict. In times of economic instability, it’s hard to know whether you have the right amount of bandwidth for your business activities next year or even next quarter. What makes this especially unnerving is the historically long provisioning times for telecom service upgrades. What you need is a way to pay for just the bandwidth you need today while ensuring that you can rapidly increase network speed if the need suddenly arises.

The Ethernet Service Port
That capability is yours with an Ethernet service port. You have such a port installed by a service provider at your location. Often, this is in the form of an RJ45 jack or a fiber optic connector on the back of a managed router. You simply plug your LAN network into this WAN port and you have connectivity to the outside world. Because it’s a managed connection, you can have nearly any bandwidth level up to the capacity of that installed port.

Ethernet VS T1
Let’s contrast that with what’s standard practice for other telecommunication services. The popular T1 line is generally provisioned on what’s known as a “smart jack” This is a RJ48 socket mounted on a small electronics box. You connect from the smart jack to the T1 card in your router that contains special CSU/DSU circuitry to decode the T1 signals. What’s important to note about this setup is that it has a fixed bandwidth of 1.5 Mbps. It’s possible to get what’s known as fractional T1 at less than 1.5 Mbps, but this is rarely cost effective anymore.

Bonding T1 Lines
What happens when you have a T1 line and run out of bandwidth? You call up your service provider and order another T1 line. These lines can be bonded to produce a 3 Mbps data line. The entire process involves ordering and installing another telecom service, however long that takes in your area.

10 Mbps on an Ethernet Port
Now, let’s see what happens when you have 10 Mbps Ethernet delivered on a 50 Mbps port. Like the situation with a congested T1 line, you run out of bandwidth on your 10 Mbps service. Unlike the previous scenario, however, you call up your service provider and tell them you want to increase your bandwidth to 20 Mbps. They say “fine” and simply turn up your service to 20 Mbps. You can often do this with nothing more than a phone call. Nobody needs to come and drill holes or string more wires. It’s all done with software commands to your Ethernet CPE or Customer Premises Equipment.

Bandwidth Limit is Maximum Port Speed
The thing to remember about Ethernet ports is that the speed of the port is the maximum speed that it can handle. If you top out at the max port speed, you will likely need an equipment change to get more bandwidth. For that reason, be sure you order a port that has some growth potential even though you don’t need it right now. Some bandwidth headroom gives you an agility to ramp up WAN network speed incrementally as business increases.

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