What is better-DS3 or 100MB Ethernet from large ISP?

Posted on 2009-04-23
Last Modified: 2013-12-22
We need Internet access in a new building. We were offered 45MB DS3 access from a large tier 1 ISP for $4000 per month, or 100MB ethernet access for $3000 per month. Which is a better deal? We are not using VOIP. We need to provide Internet and email access outward for employees, and inbound access to web and SQL servers.

I know the DS3 is guaranteed bandwidth. How fast is 100MB ethernet? Is it reliable enough? What questions should I ask?
Question by:SteveBlevins
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Ethernet is usually only good for about 1000 feet.  Does this mean there is an ISP in the building that is willing to piggyback you?  If so, I would ask them questions about how they are connected...  the DS3s have some really nice quality features, with the "ethernet" option, there may be a lot of variables that might slow things down.  (you may be sharing a pipe with a lot of other people)

    Depending on how many users you have, and what type of traffic they will generate.. the DS3 would probably be the most stable and would be fast enough.  
    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    I suppose 100Mbps ethernet will be provided with fiber line and  media converters at both ends (fiber to copper)

    if that line is for you only (not shared with different clients), then 100Mbps Rthernet will provide you with 96-98Mbps of actual bandwidth which is better than 45Mbps DS3
    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    you should ask about media between building and if it is fiber, then you can ask about SLA only....
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    A Ethernet is far superior to DS3's these days.  First, if they can offer the 100M service, they have fiber to your area.  You'll save money on the port and the bandwidth on the carrier side, and also you won't need to purchase a DS3 card for your gear.  Further, its gives you a nice path to speeds above 100M if you need it.  As far as "sharing a pipe" as mentioned above, its all hauled back to the carrier via fiber.  The only thing you need to worry about for Internet access is peering points, but it'll be the same issue if you're DS3 or 100M.  So, take the 100M and don't look back.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for the advice.

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