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Connecting Your Locations with a Point-to-Point Fiber Optic Network

Connecting Your Locations with a Point-to-Point Fiber Optic Network

Consistency. It yields results in all facets of your business (and life). A fast, reliable, and consistent internet connection is a must in today’s world of instant communication, data sharing, file sharing, and more.

Enter point-to-point fiber optic networks.

Signing on for a point-to-point fiber optic network is an especially logical move when you want to connect different buildings in a campus environment, or if you want high availability and a secure connection to a remote site.

This article will explore how great P2P fiber optic networks work, how they are secured, their benefits, and how much they cost.


Point-to-Point Fiber Optic Networks

If you have a dedicated, point-to-point fiber network connecting two buildings or remote sites, the user experience is as if both machines were on the same LAN.

What happens if you want to back up data from another location?

Well, with P2P, you can handle it from your direct connection.

Also, if you have security concerns, you will be happy to know that P2P (as a dedicated, private connection) is considered to be remarkably secure. 



How Do I Know if I Need a Point-to-Point Fiber Network? 

Organizations wondering if they need P2P fiber generally need enhanced control, bandwidth, security, or administrative convenience that outweighs the upcharge.

Here are some use cases for P2P Fiber deployments:

  1. To connect multiple buildings
  2. Remote workstations require high availability and security
  3. Equal upload and download bandwidth requirements

If you’re nodding along, you probably need a point-to-point fiber network. You’re likely facing the same challenges as other businesses and enterprises. Maybe your workforce is global. You might have multiple business locations. Your workforce expects to be able to seamlessly connect with colleagues from wherever they are.


5 Benefits of a P2P Fiber Optic Network

1. Faster communications

When you have access to dedicated bandwidth, you naturally end up with higher bandwidth per port. This translates into dramatically faster communications via your point-to-point connection.

Your P2P connection can also run at the same speeds as a LAN connection, whether your cables and switches can handle 100 Mbps, 1000 Mbps, or 10Gbps. You can dive into the work without being delayed by connectivity lags.

In addition to the high bandwidth, P2P fiber optic networks offer low latency, ensuring that data travels from one point to another with minimal delay. This is particularly crucial for applications that require real-time data transmission, such as video conferencing, remote surgery, or high-frequency trading.


2. Equal Bandwidth

Similarly, the technology provides equal bandwidth whether you are uploading or downloading – which is especially important for telecommunications, where audio and video uploads can experience packet bottlenecks that cause stream quality compromises in non-P2P situations.

The symmetrical bandwidth offered by P2P fiber optic networks is a game-changer for businesses that rely heavily on cloud-based applications, remote backups, or large file transfers. With equal upload and download speeds, you can ensure that your data-intensive tasks are completed efficiently without any bottlenecks or performance issues. 


3. Flexibility

Because P2P technology supports manual controls over bandwidth per port, it gives you the greatest possible flexibility and governance over the connection at your disposal. This level of control allows you to allocate bandwidth based on the specific needs of each application or user, ensuring optimal performance and resource utilization.

For example, you can prioritize mission-critical applications or dedicate more bandwidth to data-intensive tasks while still maintaining sufficient bandwidth for other users or less demanding applications. 


4. P2P Fiber Optic Security

The security implications of P2P are of paramount importance. When your office branches and data centers are situated some distance from each other, P2P fiber networks allow them to communicate on a secure connection without your data passing through public peering points or any central hub.

Because P2P simply circumvents those potential security risks, using this type of connection also keeps traffic from other users from slowing things down. After all, with P2P, there are no users other than those you want to connect with.

Moreover, P2P fiber optic networks offer an additional layer of security through physical isolation. Unlike shared network infrastructures, where multiple users share the same fiber strands, P2P networks provide a dedicated fiber connection for each user or location.


5. P2P and the Necessity for VPNs

Those connected remotely do not need to worry about using a VPN, which could introduce potential complications. Once you are set up with a P2P connection, you are good to go, though if you wish to secure your data further, creating a VPN is an available option.


6. Future-Proofing Your Network

Investing in a P2P fiber optic network is a smart choice for businesses looking to future-proof their connectivity infrastructure. As technology advances and data demands continue to grow year over year, P2P networks offer the scalability and adaptability needed to keep pace with these changes.

With a P2P network, you can easily upgrade your bandwidth capacity as your business grows - without costly infrastructure overhauls. The dedicated nature of P2P connections ensures that your network performance remains consistent, even as you add more users or applications to your network.

Additionally, the adoption of advanced technologies, such as wavelength division multiplexing (WDM), allows you to increase your network capacity without additional fiber installations, making P2P networks a cost-effective and sustainable solution for long-term growth.


How P2P Fiber Optic Connections Work

Peeking “under the hood,” a point-to-point architecture means that one or two strands of single or multi-mode fiber housed in a multi-fiber cable are fusion spliced together. This forms a contiguous path that connects a switch at the carrier’s central office directly to the carrier’s local aggregation switch located in the customer’s building.

The local aggregation switch has any number of multiple optical ports. These ports are dedicated to a particular customer and connected to the business’s telecommunications room via additional fiber cables run through your building. 

This path forms one end of a continuous pathway for signals through each node. Once this work is completed at both ends of the connection, the business receives one long connected fiber loop.

Note that from a practical standpoint, the existing fiber in the building may be reworked to connect from the local aggregation switch to the business location. Sometimes, however, installing new fiber is necessary.

Also, if both ends of the P2P connection are not in the same central office for the carrier, the carrier will use its core fiber network to connect the two central offices.


The Difference Between GPON and Point-to-Point Fiber Optic Networks

Another important consideration to keep in mind when a fiber optic network architecture for your business is the difference between P2P (Point-to-Point) and GPON (Gigabit-Capable Passive Optical Network). So, what are the differences between these approaches, and which is best for your business? 

At its most basic level, the difference is that GPON operates on a point-to-multipoint infrastructure, splitting the signal among multiple users and point-to-point delivers a dedicated connection directly to each end user. Let's explore the key differences a little more closely.

  • Control and Bandwidth Allocation: P2P offers superior control with dedicated bandwidth per port and premise, while GPON passively allocates bandwidth among users.
  • Symmetry and Speed: P2P ensures symmetrical speeds for seamless uploading and downloading, whereas GPON provides asymmetrical speeds with slower upload rates.
  • Scalability and Future-Proofing: P2P enables effortless scalability without compromising performance or security, while GPON may face challenges in accommodating future growth.
  • Security and Reliability: P2P establishes a secure, dedicated connection, mitigating risks associated with shared infrastructures, while GPON raises concerns about data privacy and vulnerability.
  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Maintenance: P2P offers SLAs with assured uptime and swift resolution times, while GPON often lacks such guarantees, potentially leading to prolonged downtime.

Overall, point-to-point fiber optic networks offer a higher-caliber solution for businesses seeking high-performance, future-proofed networking solutions. 


How Much Does a Point-to-Point Fiber Optic Network Cost?

When a company switches technologies, even when the move improves functioning and saves money, the new technology still entails setup costs. 

In the case of a P2P fiber network, you’ll be paying for equipment, the use of the circuit itself, and the labor involved in installing the network on your premises. These are the parameters that contribute to pricing more than any others.

Costs to get started will depend on the difficulty of the installation, the complexity and length of the network, and the extent to which fiber infrastructure is already in place at your various locations.

Your requirements can also influence pricing.

For example, if you need a higher bandwidth (depending on what your company does), you might pay more for the network. 

Setup pricing can range from $500 to $2500 or more. Monthly recurring charges are similar. 

I recently provisioned a four-site point-to-point network over fiber that included one international site, and setup costs were less than $3000.


Is a Point-to-Point Fiber Optic Link the Right Choice?

In today's fast-paced, data-driven business landscape, the choice of your connectivity solution can make or break your success. As we've explored, P2P fiber optic networks offer a compelling array of benefits that set them apart from other networking options. From incredible speed and equal bandwidth to enhanced security and future-proofing capabilities, P2P networks provide a solid foundation for businesses looking to thrive now and in the future.

If your business relies on connecting multiple locations seamlessly and securely, P2P fiber optic connectivity is undoubtedly worth considering. However, we know that navigating the complexities of fiber optic networking can feel daunting. But we're here to help!

To dive deeper into the world of fiber optic connectivity and discover how P2P networks can transform your business, we invite you to download our complimentary ebook, The Insider’s Guide to Fiber Internet Connectivity. This comprehensive resource will provide you with valuable insights, expert advice, and practical strategies for leveraging the power of P2P fiber optic networks to drive your business forward.


Learn more about Atlantech’s business fiber internet solutions for D.C metro and Northern Virginia businesses. We also recommend downloading our free eBook, The Insider’s Guide to Fiber Internet Connectivity.


Tom Collins
Post by Tom Collins
April 4, 2024
Tom is the Director of Enterprise Sales & Marketing for Atlantech Online. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the Internet Service Provider industry and is known for translating technology into positive results for business. A native of Washington, DC, a graduate from University of Maryland (degrees in Government & Politics and Secondary Education), Tom is also a five-time Ironman finisher.