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Beware Low Cost Metro Ethernet Providers

Beware Low Cost Metro Ethernet Providers

Caveat emptor is the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for ensuring the quality, reliability, or suitability of goods and services prior to executing a purchase. Colloquially, it means buyer beware.

As with most goods and services, there are always good, reputable providers. Unfortunately, for every good provider, several poor ones are right behind. The internet space is no exception. Unlike other goods and services, it’s harder for consumers to conduct thorough due diligence when it comes to internet and technology services simply due to the very nature of the service.

Most average consumers lack the technical proficiency to truly understand what makes one internet provider better than another. When it comes to internet, consumers just want it to work.

So what should you, the internet consumer, look for when considering a low-cost internet connection, specifically Metro Ethernet.

Why the Buzz About Metro Ethernet?

Metro Ethernet is today what T1 was several years ago. As a technology, metro Ethernet is a dedicated connection from the provider to the customer location just like a T1. T1’s offer a 1.5 megabit rate of speed in both directions (upload/download). Metro Ethernet can offer anywhere from 5MB to 100MB rates of speed in both directions. The service can be delivered via copper wire or fiber optic cabling, but only fiber will offer speeds exceeding 10MB.

In today’s cloud-based world, business are more dependent than ever on the internet. Ensuring a high-speed, reliable connection will likely mean the difference between making and losing money for many companies. That’s why more and more businesses are opting for metro Ethernet connections.

Businessman standing and holding a yellow caution sign in front of his head

Why Not Go With the Cheapest Provider?

If a metro Ethernet connection is a dedicated circuit with guaranteed speed, why not simply choose the lowest cost provider? As a consumer, we all want the best bang for our buck, especially in business when every dollar saved on the expense side of the P&L directly correlates with an increase to the bottom line. In the end, however, the old adage of, “you get what you pay for,” rings as true with internet access as it would with any other good or service. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. As it relates to metro Ethernet, here’s why:

If six providers are selling metro Ethernet service for $500-$700/mo (for a 10-50MB rate of speed), then along comes a company advertising a 50MB connection for $450/mo, you need to ask yourself how they’re able to offer that low rate.

It’s been our experience over the years that in a stable market, when a low-cost provider emerges, it’s typically because they’re looking to grow rapidly and are likely being built to be sold. While it’s great for that provider’s ownership, it usually ends up badly for the end user. When a company grows too fast and doesn’t have any margin for increasing the support (calls for help) capacity, there is likely a problem looming.

Lastly, the internet business is built on ratios of “over subscription”. Internet providers buy their upstream bandwidth in bulk from larger carriers like Level3 (now CenturyLink), Comcast, AT&T, or any number of other upstream providers at discounted rates. They know not every subscriber will be using all of their bandwidth all the time, so, using this model, purchase less upstream bandwidth to keep costs low.

The low cost provider is probably buying a couple Gigabytes at $ 1.50 to $2.00/Mb for their network. (this where you say, how can they buy it for $ 1.50/Mb and sell it to me for $ 0.45/Mb, provide the physical connection and infrastructure, redundancy, tech support, etc. and make enough money to stay in business?)

While you the consumer will likely receive the same service you would with another provider, your support experience when there are problems will likely be poor. Then when the company is sold, how will your service be impacted at that point?

Partner with Metro Ethernet Experts

As a full service voice and data provider, N2Net can provide quality metro Ethernet connections to you at fair rates with on-site support (no offshore tech support). N2Net manages its own network and can guarantee your speed as well as call quality on VoIP applications utilizing a dedicated connection. To learn more about how you can better leverage your metro Ethernet connection, contact an N2Net specialist today.