In many cases, I can measure my bandwidth at between 55 and 125 Mbps. Then I see that OC-1 and OC-3 speeds are 55 and 155 Mbps, respectively. Am I to believe that I have an OC-1 or OC-3 level connection to the Internet wherever I experience these speeds? What in the wide world of sports is going on?

  • 4
    Home networking is explicitly off-topic here. OC-x are circuit-switched connections that are largely obsolete. Packet-switched WAN technology has far surpassed them. – Zac67 Aug 30 '19 at 12:52
  • Honestly, I think "home networking" is just a detail here. The bigger question (which got answered) had to do with OC-x being obsolete (effectively) and the circuit vs packet-switched networks. While I appreciate the curation of this group, I would kindly suggest that we not worry so much about little details. I have participated in SO for many years (with different identities) and being able to distinguish between "spam/homework" questions and real questions is something I still see the SE community in need of, vs focus on minor details – CharlieBucket Aug 30 '19 at 15:23
  • 1
    It might - but then again, the question is rather moot for a business network. – Zac67 Aug 30 '19 at 15:31
  • 1
    You are still comparing apples to oranges. Notice that your bandwidth varies and is asymmetric, while TDM circuits have a fixed, symmetric bandwidth. Residential circuits are often unacceptable for business needs, regardless of the bandwidth available. A business depending on specific bandwidth will have a contract specifying the bandwidth, and it needs to maintain that, regardless of how many neighbors start using a bunch of bandwidth. – Ron Maupin Aug 30 '19 at 16:12
  • 2
    It doesn't make sense to say "I have OC-3 level connection," because OC-3 is a particular protocol that you're not using. It's like saying "I'm in the Grand Prix" when you're just driving on the freeway. – Ron Trunk Aug 30 '19 at 16:52

OC-3 (and all the others) refers to the specifications for transmission of data over SONET. It was designed for long-haul, point-to-point connections. It's a completely different technology (circuit-switched) than Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or anything else you might actually use. The fact that you have similar bandwidth only shows how obsolete that technology is.

  • Of course, the TDM speeds are fixed, symmetric, and dependable, while the home networking speeds vary from advertised (the best possible speed under ideal conditions is what is advertised, and often cannot be achieved) and are asymmetric. Unfortunately, the home networking mentality for advertised speeds is bleeding into some of the business ethernet offerings from the ISPs. – Ron Maupin Aug 30 '19 at 13:04
  • Not to mention its reliability and survivability. – Ron Trunk Aug 30 '19 at 13:11
  • Yes, we are trying to move from TDM to ethernet offerings, but those are still impossible in many places, and the speeds cannot be depended on in other places. Undependable speeds play real havoc with carefully balanced calculations and QoS configurations. When a group wants to move a site to ethernet for cost savings, sometimes we simply cannot get ethernet for the site, and sometimes the speeds drop a lot during business hours (we can only make changes and test during the late night), then we are the bad guys. – Ron Maupin Aug 30 '19 at 13:17
  • SD-WAN is "supposed" to address that. We're starting to seriously consider it as "cost savings." I'm gritting my teeth. – Ron Trunk Aug 30 '19 at 13:20

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.