What It Means to Be On-Net and Why It’s Important

March 29, 2024

With a finite number of businesses in the world, telecom and internet service providers are constantly vying for their own services in a large and competitive pool. When connecting customers to service options at their address, businesses need to be guaranteed that they are provided with the best possible service network available.

So, how does a business determine the best possible service?

Consider an analogy: A network is like a vast spiderweb of wires and connections. The wires stretch across telephone poles, reach underground and between bodies of water, and ultimately connect to a building, home, wireless tower, or any other physical structure. Although carriers connect to some of these buildings, they don’t connect to all of them. No carriers have a monopoly on connectivity or infrastructure. 

On-net service refers to a carrier that owns network facilities at a specific location. This means that even if your business does not currently use the services from that carrier, you can easily switch over to leverage their connections and facilities.

In this blog post, you can find more information on what it means to be on-net and why it’s important that a business has on-net connectivity.


Understanding On-Net Connectivity 

A better way to understand on-net services is to define the alternatives: off-net and near-net.

  • Off-net connectivity is sourced from a location that is serviced by solution providers who lease from on-net carriers.

Although today’s businesses are increasingly providing work-from-home options for their employees, on-net buildings have always been the most attractive connectivity option for the traditional office-based business. Why? Because on-net provides:

  • Reliable, built-in connectivity and serviceability 
  • Reduced field tech installation involvement
  • The local infrastructure that guides decisions around technology assets at those location 
  • Faster installation intervals than off-net and near-net connectivities 

With more and more business and interactions taking place in digital environments, companies can’t afford to go with the less reliable options. On-net buildings provide optimal connectivity and serviceability to operate in a highly digital environment without having to invest in construction costs to extend fiber connectivity from near-net locations.

Strategic Placement of On-Net Infrastructure

The cost of building telecom infrastructure at every address that a carrier provides connectivity service to is too expensive, which makes strategically placing on-net infrastructure important

To do this, telecom carriers target certain markets and create proximity to other on-net properties. Several on-net buildings are a sign of a carrier’s effort to win the market share of a location or region. When a carrier builds more on-net options, this is a clear indicator that they intend to win in the connectivity market.

The Affordability of On-Net Services

Although on-net connectivity services are more expensive than the alternatives, on-net services tend to be more affordable than many people think. The main reason is that all of the components are built into the telecom infrastructure of a building, which means that no third-party payments are made on lines or hardware, thereby increasing margin and potential discounting capability.

A major benefit of on-net services is the efficiency of the established network that passes cost savings on to the user. Service that is completely on-net also means that the provider can bill and service the connection with maximum speed and efficiency because all aspects of service and quality are within their control, not reliant upon other vendors.

Discover On-Net Services with BandwidthFinder 

When determining whether a building is on-net, using the right tools to thoroughly research a region or building gives you the ability to make the right choice around selecting the communication services. 

BandwidthFinder, our telecom software research tool, can help you ensure this information is up to date and accurate. If you’re a carrier or provider, you can provide BandwidthFinder with your information so that sellers and businesses can easily see your connectivity information and compare your services to other providers.

Learn more and get your free demo today.


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