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Copper Wire Internet

Bandwidth is the term used to refer to the speed at which you can access the internet. As the internet now plays an important role in our daily lives, bandwidth is an important factor that we should put much thought into. Bandwidth considerations are especially important for businesses, as they will have to use data heavy functions like video conferencing and cloud computing often. Home users will also need high bandwidth internet to download large files quickly and to stream videos.

When multiple users on the same network are using data heavy functions at the same time, the bandwidth needs will multiply. For instance, consider that you only have a limited bandwidth of 20 megabits per second (Mbps). Running a few heavy demand functions will slow down the internet speeds for all the users in the network.

Low bandwidths can negatively affect the productivity of businesses, as slow internet can result in wastage of productive time of employees leading to lost sales. This is the reason it is important for businesses to ensure that their operations are internet optimized. Having an understanding about the various mediums used in data transfer will help you know what you are dealing with. Basically, two materials are used to offer internet access, copper wire and optical fiber.

Copper Is Dominant

Since the advent of the telephone before a hundred years, copper wire has been a dominant medium in telecommunications. The copper wire is perfect to transmit data and voice signals in the form of electricity. Cable and DSL internet make use of cables made from copper to transmit signals. However, the term copper broadband internet refers to traditional T-carrier lines like T1 and T3, and the new Ethernet over copper (EoC) lines that make use of copper cables to facilitate data transmission.

T1 lines are typically used as multichannel voiced lines, but they can also be used to offer dedicated symmetrical broadband. These lines are also used to offer private point-to-point network connections. If the infrastructure is not already in place, it can take much time to setup copper wire internet, so the copper internet cannot be considered a ready-connect type of internet service. The advantage of copper wire internet is that it can be used in cases where the other broadband internet options are not available or feasible.

T-Carrier Lines

T1 and T3 are the common types of data transmission systems. T1 and T3 lines were originally developed by AT&T® in 1960s and were used in telephone service. Later, these lines became a popular option to offer business class internet service. The T-carrier system was designed by AT&T® to allow grouping of different channels to have a larger unit. For example, a T2 line will have four T1 lines grouped together. Likewise, a T3 line has twenty-eight T1 lines.

Cross section of a T-Carrier cable

The details of the five levels of T-lines from T1 to T5 are provided in the below table.

Name Capacity (maximum data rate) T1 Multiples
T1 1.544 Mbps 1
T2 6.312 Mbps 4
T3 44.736 Mbps 28
T4 274.176 Mbps 168
T5 400.352 Mbps 250

T-carrier lines are also called DS lines. The term DS1 lines are used to refer to T1 lines, DS2 to refer to T2 and so on. In most of the contexts, these terminologies can be used interchangeably. In technical terms, DSx refers to the digital signal that is running over the corresponding Tx lines.

T1 lines were once the main method of internet access for small businesses before the introduction of business class DSL services. The T carrier lines are high priced business internet solutions and so they are not suitable to offer residential internet. T3 lines are used to provide reliable long distance internet traffic and are also used to provide core of business networks.

Leased Internet Line

Some of the internet service providers in the US offer their services through T-carrier lines for businesses to use as dedicated connections to their geographically separated offices and the internet. Businesses can have leased line internet with T1, T3, or fractional T3 options as these are the most cost effective ways to have leased internet line. T3 lines are costlier than the T1 lines and the fractional T3 lines allow users to pay for less channel numbers than the complete T3 lines, thereby decreasing the leased internet line costs.

Ethernet Over Copper (EoC)

Ethernet over Copper is a means to provide dedicated bandwidth to businesses and is a popular way to offer a leased internet line. As technology advances, prices keep dropping and availability of bandwidth increases. While looking for Ethernet over Copper (EoC) services, you will need to consider the distance from office of the internet service provider. If you are located far away from the office of the ISP, the maximum internet speed that you can get will decrease, as the service is dependent on the distance and the quality of the copper wire.

One of the biggest advantages of opting EoC is reliability. As the service runs over many pairs of twisted copper cables, you will be able to access the internet service at a lower speed, even when one strand of the copper wire goes down.

Pros And Cons Of Copper Wire Internet

If you are looking to have a robust business class internet service, or if the other internet services like DSL or fiber are not available in your location, you can look for the copper wire internet via T1 and T3 lines.

Pros

Business Class Service

EoC and T-carriers are dedicated connections to the endpoints of businesses that reliably connect businesses to the internet backbone of the service provider. DSL, cable, or fiber broadband internet are distributed via shared networks. A shared network may offer full speeds, however, it cannot be guaranteed, whereas copper wire internet via T1 and T3 lines can guarantee business class service at all times, making it more suitable for critical applications.

Great Alternative To Fiber

As Ethernet over Copper is capable of achieving speeds of 200 Mbps and more, it can be a great alternative to fiber when there are existing telephone cables that can be used to offer EoC. When compared to installation costs of fiber optic cables from the office of the ISP all the way to the premises of the business, T3 lines or EoC can be a cost effective option.

Working of Ethernet over Copper Internet

Cons

Speeds Can Be Slow

The new members of the copper wire internet like Ethernet over Copper ca offer good bandwidth per dollar; however, the traditional T1 lines can be slower. T1 service is defined as a 1.544 Mbps service, which is not fast when compared to the other options. T3 lines can be much faster than the T1 lines and can offer 45 Mbps speeds.

Costs Can Be High

Telecommunications experts say that even the low bandwidth T1 lines can cost ten times as much as a DSL connection. The service costs will vary based on the type of service and the distance of the user from the internet service provider. For instance, the cost to have internet via T3 lines can be in the range of 1000 dollars per month.

Copper wire internet like EoC will help you squeeze more out of the old and existing infrastructure and can be a great option for businesses looking to have dedicated, high speed, and reliable internet service.

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