Types of Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) circuits include: Dedicated Fiber (a.k.a. fast ethernet, metro ethernet, ethernet over fiber); Ethernet over Copper (EoC); T-1 (DS-1); T-3 (DS-3); and Dedicated Fixed-Wireless.
The type of DIA circuit your company needs, depends on the circuit types available at your address and the bandwidth your company requires. In theory, the type of DIA circuit (i.e. fiber vs. T-1), only affects the bandwidth and price of the Internet connection.
Regardless of circuit type, a DIA circuit always includes the following 5 benefits:
With Dedicated Internet Access, your company is guaranteed to receive the bandwidth you purchased, 100% of the time. If your company purchases a 100Mbps dedicated fiber Internet connection, you will always receive 100Mbps.
This is different than “shared” or “best effort” connections, where the speed your company purchases is the maximum speed you will receive. With shared connections, the actual speed is unpredictable and fluctuates throughout the day, depending on the ISP’s network traffic.
If your company purchases a 100Mbps Dedicated Internet Access circuit, both your download and upload speed/bandwidth are always guaranteed at 100Mbps. Fast upload speed is important if your company has a lot of remote users, cloud apps, VoIP, etc.
Less expensive, shared Internet connections typically have a fast download speed and a significantly slower upload speed. For instance, it’s common to see an inexpensive shared Internet connection with a maximum download speed of 100Mbps and a maximum upload speed of only 10Mbps.
Has your company ever experienced slow Internet speed yet your Internet speed test says your bandwidth is high? If your company doesn’t have time for this kind of network performance, DIA might be the answer.
This is a little-known secret in the ISP world but as any ISP network engineer will tell you, the bandwidth your company buys is not the circuit’s actual throughput. It’s just the bandwidth at which the circuit accesses the ISP’s backbone network. Once your traffic hits the network, however, it only moves as fast as the network will allow.
The best analogy is a freeway onramp (i.e. your circuit), vs. the actual freeway (i.e. the ISP’s backbone network). The onramp might be huge and wide-open but if the freeway is packed with traffic, it’s going to take you a long time to reach your destination.
ISP’s don’t advertise this but they keep their Dedicated Internet Access customers on a high-capacity, under-subscribed backbone network. Shared Internet connections often run on jammed, over-subscribed backbone networks. Therefore, despite having the same circuit speed, a 100Mbps Dedicated Internet Access connection will almost always be faster than a 100Mbps inexpensive, shared Internet access connection.
Service level agreement
With real-time applications like VoIP, Video and Remote Desktop growing in popularity, things like latency, packet loss, and jitter have become extremely important on your company’s Internet connection.
Piggy-backing on the benefit of better throughput, (since DIA traffic runs over a better backbone network), ISP’s can also slap a snazzy guarantee on the quality of your Internet traffic, called a Service Level Agreement (SLA). A typical DIA SLA will guarantee:
Jitter (only guaranteed with some ISP’s)
If your company has Dedicated Internet Access and your ISP fails to meet its SLA, they will give you a monetary refund, based on the details outlined in your original contract.
Better guaranteed response time
Dedicated Internet Access circuits almost always come with a significantly better guaranteed response time than inexpensive, shared/best effort business Internet connections. ISP’s typically provide a 4-hour guaranteed response time for DIA trouble tickets and a 24-hour guaranteed response time for shared/best effort Internet connection trouble tickets.