Fiber Optic Telecommunications
Optical Carrier Services for
Business & Organizations
By: John Shepler
Fiber optics provides high bandwidth digital
communication services provisioned over laser driven fiber optic
cable instead of the familiar unshielded twisted pair or coaxial
Why Choose Fiber Optic Service?
Smaller businesses and educational organizations will probably
get all the bandwidth they need from copper wire based T1 and
T3 circuits. Higher bandwidth applications include read time
video, medical imaging, CAD/CAM, large call centers, Gigabit
Ethernet WANs, enterprise level data storage and emergency recovery,
movie studio file transfers, and Internet Service Provider backbones.
These applications are often excellent candidates for fiber optic
based data transmission services.
In some areas, lower bandwidth services
such as T1 and T3 may also ride along as part of the payload
on a fiber optic cable coming into a building. It depends on
what facilities are available to a particular location.
Bandwidth of Available Fiber Optic Services
Fiber optic digital services use the designator OC (optical carrier)
in place of the T-carrier (Trunk) services such as T1 & T3.
The most popular optical carrier services are OC3, OC12 and OC48.
Higher speed carriers, such as OC-192, are used by service providers
for inter-city transport.
Optical Carrier Service Level
Capacity in Megabits / Second
Ethernet is the standard networking
protocol used in local area networks (LANs). Switches, routers,
network interface cards and other Ethernet equipment most often
operates at 10, 100, or 1,000 Mbps. With fiber optic service,
you can expand your network across town or across the country
at whatever speed your network currently operates, including
Fast Ethernet at 100 Mbps or Gigabit Ethernet at 1,000 Mbps (equivalent
to 1 Gbps.) From a network administrator's viewpoint, the interface
couldn't be simpler as the optical carrier simply extends the
existing network to become a MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)
or WAN (Wide Area Network).
SONET stands for Synchronous Optical NETwork. It is typically
deployed to connect multiple locations in a metropolitan area
in a ring topology. Actually there are two rings. The data is
transmitted in opposite directions and one of the rings is a
"spare." It is available to automatically restore service
if the primary ring fiber optic cable is cut or if a piece of
equipment, such as a multiplexer, fails. This self-healing mechanism
makes SONET rings highly reliable for mission critical data.
SONET was originally designed to aggregate
all sorts of services onto a single optical carrier. Digitized
telephone calls, Internet data, and other traffic may all be
traveling around the SONET ring at the same time. Add/Drop multiplexers
are used to add on or drop off particular services location by
Services Available via Optical Carrier
Just about anything you would transmit via copper wire can be
sent on fiber optic cable, and then some. Examples might include
VoIP telephone calls, PBX to PBX connections, high speed Internet
service, ATM and Frame Relay, Cable TV, video conferencing up
to full motion, corporate data transfer, and Ethernet based networks.
Your particular location will dictate what you can order, based
on the facilities that have been built-out in your area.
Discover Your Bandwidth Upgrade Options Now
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