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DATA

Data Services are telecommunication products that are provided by a Local Exchange Carrier (LEC), a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC), or a Long Distance Company.  These types of services are primarily designed to connect multiple company sites so that they all look like one network.  Internet Access also falls into this category because of the Internet's increasing use as a data transport through VPNs and Web Conferencing.

Leased Lines - connect multiple locations, that are geographically separated, and consolidate them into a common backbone network.  Digital Wide Area Network (WAN) connections can be point-to-point T-1s/DS3s, multiplexed 56K lines, Frame Relay circuits or optical circuits like OPT-E-MAN, OPT-E-WAN or GIG-A-MAN.  The common goal of any of these networks is to combine multiple LANs into one LAN.  Every office location in the network, no matter where that office is located, acts and feels like it is on one network with every other location.

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) - is a high speed Internet Access connection that is delivered on a Business Access Line (POTS) by a technology called line sharing.  The DSL service does not effect the voice use of the POTS line.  The bandwidth of a DSL line is contingent on the quality of the POTS line and the distance from the DSL Central Office or DSL remote repeater.  A DSL line comes with either a static or dynamic IP Address.  Bandwidth is never guaranteed because of the shared network configuration of DSL service.

Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) - is a permanent connection between a company's LAN environment and the Internet.  These connections are usually provided on a T-1, DS3 or similar high speed circuit.  The bandwidth provided by these products is guaranteed at all times.  The circuit can be provided with a managed router so that the carrier can closely monitor the performance of the circuit.  Ethernet based DIA is also available, but is very difficult to provision.  The timeframes to install Ethernet based DIA can easily be in excess of six months.

Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) - is a high-performance method for forwarding packets (frames) through a network. It enables routers at the edge of a network to apply simple labels to packets (frames). ATM switches or existing routers in the network core can switch packets according to the labels with minimal lookup overhead.   MPLS networks deliver enterprise-scale connectivity deployed on a shared infrastructure with the same policies enjoyed in a private network.  For most companies, MPLS is lower cost alternative to a private network with the same security, but with much more flexibility.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) - A VPN is a private network that uses a public network such as the Internet to connect users or remote sites together in a secure manner.  Instead of using a dedicated connection, such as leased-line direct circuits, the VPN option uses tunnels routed over the Internet from the company’s private network to another location on the company's network.  This approach uses a business’s existing connection to the Internet and requires IP Security (IPSec)-compliant VPN gateway equipment at the enterprise locations.  While relatively secure, VPNs are subject to latency and security issues inherent in using the public Internet as a transport device for private data.

Web Conferencing - allows participants to simply point their browsers to the designated Web address to join a meeting.  As the conference host, you control what they are seeing - whether it's a presentation, web tour, or software demonstration.  Conference coordinators can gather participants, perform roll call, introduce speakers, and monitor the conference throughout. A full complement of service enhancements is available, including polling, post-conference dial-in for playback, breakout groups and transcription. Advance reservations are usually required.
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