As the world becomes more and more reliant on the nearly endless capabilities of the internet, there are also more ways to use it more effectively.
These days, businesses are turning to cloud computing so that teams can run applications, host and store data, and perform a number of other functions that allow them to operate optimally. This makes reliable connectivity not just a preference but a necessity for remaining competitive in the marketplace.
This reliance on reliable connectivity has created a massive opportunity for connectivity service providers to provide the fastest option with the best bandwidth capabilities. While the most accessible service is a direct connection to the source of the infrastructure, which is referred to as on-net, it is not feasible or cost-effective for connectivity providers to build infrastructure in every single building.
So although there are many benefits to on-net telecom connectivity, professionals in the telecom industry might be forced to consider other alternatives. In this blog post, we go over these options, the many benefits provided by on-net connectivity, and the importance of getting a solution quickly instead of spending valuable time researching.
On-Net, Near-Net, and Off-Net: What’s the Difference?
There are three different types of connectivity solutions and each has specific benefits. These include:
- On-net locations have a physical infrastructure to create connectivity.
- Near-net locations are in close proximity to buildings with fiber assets.
- Off-net locations are serviced by solution providers who lease from on-net carriers.
Let’s dive into details on each of these types of telecom solutions.
On-net locations are those buildings in which carriers have physically built connectivity using fiber they own. These locations have the best service, prices, functionality, and expansion opportunities. Because the services are embedded into the infrastructure, connectivity can be leveraged to meet the needs of the businesses in the building.
One big reason on-net is desirable from the sales channels side is that the installation interval is typically shorter and much more predictable. With near-net and off-net, the installation costs and timeline may go up.
Near-net locations describe buildings in close proximity to fiber assets, or on-net infrastructure. These buildings have not yet justified building the physical infrastructure, so they connect to the additional capacity of the fiber running in nearby conduits. Near-net locations provide an opportunity for on-net carriers to see which buildings might represent opportunities to build into in the future, albeit with a longer installation interval.
Off-net is the name a solution provider gives to a building where the only means to service it is through leasing service via another on-net carrier. Because it is unrealistic for solution providers to build infrastructure into every single location, off-net providers can connect with on-net providers to lease the connectivity infrastructure.
Off-net is an excellent solution for businesses that need a reliable source of internet connectivity especially if you have a working relationship with the solution provider. For example, a company that has a single location may prefer going with the on-net provider, getting service directly from the carrier. On the other hand, another business may have multiple locations across the country, so an off-net solution provider that can service 100% of the buildings may be more desirable. This approach allows the company to have one bill from one provider.
The Benefits of On-Net Solutions
On-net buildings provide benefits to both telecom providers and organizations seeking a fast installation and reliable connectivity. Telecom carriers can benefit from on-net in the following ways:
- On-net allows operators to generate revenue through businesses seeking connectivity and through potential off-net and solution providers looking to lease connectivity.
- More on-net locations make them more competitive and allows them to have more control over the connectivity.
Because building fiber infrastructure requires significant capital investment, carriers need to be strategic in choosing where to build. This not only determines which businesses will connect directly to them but also which solution providers will lease their services.
For businesses, choosing a telecom solutions provider that leverages on-net or off-net connectivity options allows the business to connect all office, remote worker, and cloud-based infrastructure through one vendor that can stand behind the service.
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