With prices going down and an increasing availability, Ethernet over Copper is becoming more popular as a means to deliver dedicated bandwidth to businesses. Both fiber based connections (t1, NxT1,DS3 and Ethernet over Fiber) as well as copper based access methods have their own advantages. As technology keeps advancing, prices keep dropping while bandwidth availability goes up.
How to choose between Ethernet over Copper and Fiber?
A first thing of course to consider is it's availability at your location. Ethernet over Copper is distance and copper quality sensitive, the further you are away from the local phone-company's Central Office the slower the maximum speed you can get. It is even possible for a business to be too far for copper based Ethernet services. Many businesses have used the free availability check tool on this page to check to see which services are available at their location.
Where EoC has distance limitations, Ethernet over Fiber is not effected by these. As far as reliability goes, Ethernet over Copper (EoC) does offer some redundancy. It runs over multiple pairs of twisted copper wires, and when one strand of copper goes down, the circuit remains up albeit at a lower speed. When a fiber strand is cut, the circuit is down...
An advantage of Ethernet over Fiber is that it is much more scalable and you can get much higher speeds. So possible future bandwidth need growth is a factor to consider when choosing your dedicated bandwidth service.
Not all Ethernet over Copper is created equally
Different carriers use different technologies for their Ethernet over Copper services. Be sure to find out if you are really getting true native Ethernet over bonded pairs of copper. There are carriers that use DSL bonding for their EoC circuits, which is something you want to avoid. True Ethernet over Copper has a latency that is very comparable to that of fiber. While fiber may take months to build-out if it is not already in the building, we have seen new Ethernet over Copper circuits deployed within weeks.
To find out which service fits your needs the best, and to see which carrier offers what, you can use the free quoting & availability check tool on this page. This is a free, no obligation service.