Ethernet is the most popular technology used in a Land Area Network (LAN), overtaking DSL for low cost and versatility. It can be utilized by residences and businesses of all sizes. While DSL lines have always been shared, Ethernet transmissions can be shared (repeated) or dedicated through switches, packet technologies, and other protocols.
Ethernet lines originally stemmed out of coaxial cables, but technology has allowed Ethernet cables to adapt and change to accept more bandwidth than coaxial cables can supply. Now, we find even the largest companies utilizing Ethernet technologies to connect to their Wide Area Networks (WANs). Packet technologies are allowing WANs to be comprised entirely of inexpensive, widely installed Ethernet cables. Laying and burying thick, expensive new cables is now only a concern for data centers and prominent cloud servers.
Since Ethernet cables are not buried they can easily be upgraded to accept the latest packet technologies and even wireless transmissions. The latest cables are twisted pairs of wires that can not only accept higher transmission speeds, but can accept the latest packet technologies like Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). This means that a business can have dedicated, secure data and voice transmissions though a shared Ethernet network, saving even more money. As technologies change, Ethernet cables can either accept them, or be replaced by cables that can accept them, at a minimal cost.
Many carriers have stopped offering T1 installations because they can offer the same bandwidth speeds through existing Ethernet lines, at a much lower cost. Ethernet service providers can pass their savings on to their customers, and growing competition will insure this. Businesses can now have dedicated Ethernet LANs, giving them the lowest price for bandwidth, accessibility, and adaptability for years to come.