New protocol opens door to technology innovation

Innovative technologies like virtualization and cloud communications can revolutionize small- and mid-sized business operations, but not if they're tied down by the limits of unpredictable Internet access.

Managing and embracing new technologies needs a well-managed, predictable communication service that can be counted on to be high quality and reliable, but that still fits into existing (sometimes shrinking) budgets.

Although cloud and other technologies promise opportunities and accelerated growth, many SMB owners are struck with implementation fears. Can my communications infrastructure support it? What happens if my business success depends on a cloud service and my Internet access goes down? Can I guarantee voice-over-IP that's of sufficient quality if it's running over a shared Internet access like some DSL or cable?

All are reasonable concerns. Small- and mid-sized businesses have traditionally had to compromise between more reliable, higher-speed fibre-based Internet access, which is often too expensive for consideration, and traditionally slower, less reliable single loop DSL connections. This compromise too often has resulted in SMBs being limited in their technology choices.

Fortunately, a new technology is offering businesses the high-quality service normally delivered by fibre, but over multiple existing telecom loops. Called Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM), this technology allows Ethernet to be used as the transport over what's called the "first mile" or "last mile" - the connections between businesses and their service provider's own network. EFM is a cost-effective technology as it leverages existing telecom facility and inherently delivers a highly reliable and high-bandwidth service. Primus recently launched its EFM based service called BEX - BUSINESS ETHERNET XTENDED.

BEX - BUSINESS ETHERNET XTENDED affords business owners a cost-effective solution to realize:

  • Reliability, whereby connectivity is guaranteed
  • Consistent Internet quality with identical download and upload speeds
  • Dedicated access that ensures you get the speed you paid for.
  • Unlimited throughput to improve Internet application performance.

Because BEX - BUSINESS ETHERNET XTENDED can run over multiple loops, Primus ensures redundancy by providing spare loops for the service. Should service degrade for some reason on one loop, the connection runs at full-strength on the others until it is resolved. It's a bit like having a spare tire that changes itself, as you continue to drive unhindered while the spare is replaced. This level of reliability was previously unavailable with DSL, which can degrade over distance, and be less suitable for applications where packet loss can impact low-latency applications, such as voice over IP, multi-media streaming and video.

In addition, BEX - BUSINESS ETHERNET XTENDED provides synchronous speeds - equally high-speed uploads and downloads - where traditional DSL and cable focus only on download speed. These speeds are also consistent, since the service isn't shared, as in the case of cable or DSL; subscribing to 10 Mbps service on EFM means you get 10 Mbps of dedicated service; it does not mean "up to" 10 Mbps. While traditionally there have been a number of niche industries needing high-speed upload speeds, such as video studios, graphic design businesses, and engineers and architects using computer-aided design, that need has spread with the emergence of cloud and multimedia applications. As cloud services, Web business and multimedia have become the norms for business, so too has the need for reliable, high-speed uploads.

Consider this: the upload connection is the connection out to the customer and partners. Its performance and reliability can therefore be considered crucial.

Cost is no small factor when looking at EFM-based service such as BEX - BUSINESS ETHERNET XTENDED as an option. Compared with similar enterprise-grade Internet services, this service affords its benefits at about half the cost. In addition, it's rapidly upgradeable. Businesses don't need to worry about the months it can take to install fibre to grow their Internet access to meet their needs as their business grows.

BEX - BUSINESS ETHERNET XTENDED is revolutionizing the world of Internet access by eliminating the uncertainty of service quality and service levels. Consistent high-speeds and reliability mean SMBs can confidently and costeffectively look at new and exciting technologies without having to question whether their Internet access is up to the task.

Jeff Lorenz
Vice-President of Sales and Marketing
Primus Telecommunications Canada

This advertorial originally appeared in the March 2011 issue of Backbone Magazine.