Radiant lifts cover off Ethernet-over-copper service

Organizations wanting Ethernet services usually need a fibre optic connection to a service provider, often available only in limited areas in cities.

But Radiant Communications Corp. has initiated Ethernet over standard copper lines, which it says widely broadens the number of customers who can take advantage of high speed frame-based networking.

“It gives us a way of reaching customers who might otherwise not have fibre available to them and deliver either a high quality Internet or MPLS private networking service,” said Adrian Byram, the Vancouver-based company’s chief technology officer.

Byram, pictured, estimates fibre optic is only available to some 5,000 businesses in the Toronto area, compared to 40,000 copper connections.

Radiant has been quietly offering its SureLink Business Ethernet service to customers for several months in Toronto and Vancouver but has only just publicly announced its availability.

The provider claims SureLink offers twice the speed of a T1 line at two-thirds the price.

In addition to spreading the availability to customers further from the downtown areas – for example, it will soon be available in Hamilton, Ont., some 100 km. west of Toronto – SureLink will be soon offered in Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa.

Radiant is promising duplexed speeds – that is uplink and downlink – of between 3 Megabits per second and 20 Mbps, depending on price, with a 99.9 per cent guarantee on the uptime. For example, the 3 Mbps services costs $399 a month while the 20 Mbps service costs $1,199 a month. There are 6, 10 and 15 Mbps options.

The price includes a four-port Ethernet terminator which plugs into a customer’s router.

To accomplish what some call first mile Ethernet, Radiant installs the MALC 723 multiservice access platform with Gigabit Ethernet connections from Zhone Technologies Inc. of Oakland, Calif. into central offices of phone companies.

“The beauty of this is it uses multiple pairs (of loops) so even if one pair dies, service continues to operate,” Byram said, although admittedly at a slower speed.

Unlike ADSL, which is asymmetric, the service gives equal upload and download speeds.

Early adopters include companies who not only don’t have fibre connectivity, or want to pay for it, but who also need to upload large files. These include an architecture firm, a media company shipping video files and a retailer. It also includes hotel, Bryam said, to get better Internet connectivity for guests than DSL provides.

Radiant says SureLink has latency of equal to or less than 15ms, packet loss of less than 0.1 per cent and jitter equal to or less than 3ms in the Toronto and Vancouver areas.

Enterprises could also use SureLink for connectivity insurance, Byram said. “One of the benefits of it is its completely separate from the optical fibre network, so we’ve installed it in a couple of places as a backup.”

Radiant also offers a range of other IP-based data communications services.


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