There are two types of long distance private circuit connection that can be rented from public telecommunication providers. These are connections that are based on packet switched services and connections based on circuit switched services.
Packet switched services are now the most common type and are provided over the same network infrastructure that supports the internet. The term packet switch refers to the fact that the data being transmitted is split into packets of data that are routed individually across the internet and reassembled at the receiving equipment.
In contrast, circuit switched services (eg Kilostream & Megastream circuits) maintain a continuous connection between the end-points with data received in the same form as it was transmitted and with minimum latency.
Packet switched services are ideal for transmission of information where it does not matter if there are tramsmission delays. They are therefore suited to applications such as internet browsing or email.
Internet based packet switch private circuits are also offered as either synchronous or asynchronous. With asynchronous services the download speed (or bandwidth) is significantly greater than the upload speed. This is similar to home broadband connections. With synchronous services the upload and download speed are the same.
Circuit switched connections are ideal for applications such as telephony or video conferencing where any delay in the end-to-end transmission would have an adverse impact on the intelligibility of the communication.
Circuit switched private circuits are by definition synchronous.
Circuit switched services are becoming rare because it is now possible to specify on-demand that the performance of a packet switched connection should be adjusted to deliver a lower transmission delay. In fact it is now common for telephone communications to be routed over the internet using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) with satisfactory performance.
Packet switched services typically cost less than circuit switched services since their price is based on the distance of each end-point to the nearest internet point-of-presence (POP) rather than the overall distance between the two end-points. Internet POPs are usually located in main centres of population.
It is also possible to have private packet switch circuits that provide only a connection to the internet at the nearest POP. This can be used for high speed general internet access and as the basis of creating a private network using a service known as MPLS.
An MPLS service is ideal for an organisation with many internet endpoints that need to be connected to each other and/or to one or more data centres. It removes the need for multiple individual private circuits and the complexity and expense that would be required to connect these together and configure them in a network.
Get in touch with us if you have a specific requirement or if you wish to discuss how your business could make better and more cost-effective use of its existing telecommunications and internet infrastructure and services.