Business, and the demands that come with it, has long been a huge driver in technology advancements over the years, and one might be forgiven for thinking that Ethernet cabling is an outdated and therefore limited technology in the current digital age.
Indeed, Ethernet has been around since 1976, when it was developed by Xerox at its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), and has since become a well-established and reliable tool in distributing data across local networks.
A whitepaper compiled by Megapath claims the term "ether" was used to describe this piece of hardware in order to convey the fact that it can operate over a variety of paths, which include coaxial cable, Cat5e, fibre optics and even radio waves.
The future of this technology has seemingly always been a topic of great debate for many experts, with some onlookers claiming it would phase out by the 1990s - an age where the internet really began to take off as a global phenomenon. A number of rapid technological advances led many to question whether Ethernet cabling would have the ability to keep up.
Not only has it managed to survive, it has thrived, with research from Ovum suggesting the market in 2012 reached a total value of £15 billion.
Wireless posing a new threat
However, the threat to Ethernet as a viable technology, particularly in the workplace, has not gone away. The increasingly mobile world means wireless has become a dominant trend in both the office and the home, leaving Ethernet's future to once again be called into question.
Yet there is still plenty of evidence to suggest it has enough about it to maintain its appeal, particularly in the corporate world, where it still holds a number of attractive benefits for businesses.
Ethernet better suited to business
Many rival technologies aimed at providing broadband for company are often limited in what they can offer - in many cases only allowing for basic internet access or simple voice services.
However, Ethernet meets symmetric service requirements to truly business-class standards, meaning it offers greater scalability and reliability, which can be combined with a swathe of manageable features.
Scalability is a particular strength for Ethernet, with many business systems capable of speeds between 2 Mbps and 135 Mbps, while some are even higher still.
An increase in bandwidth can be achieved without installing new equipment, which can be a hugely costly process. Instead, users can simply add additional copper pairs and adjust the hardware within their network.
Loop bond, not loop link
Another key benefit of Ethernet is that it uses loop bonding technology. This differs from rival pieces of hardware, which often use link bonding.
The problem with the latter is the fact that if there is a problem in just one of the lines, it will affect the whole connection.
This does not happen with loop bonding, which also requires less overhead and offers more bandwidth for applications, making it more cost-effective.
The efficiency of such technology is heightened even further by the fact that less power is consumed in delivering data across the connection, making it a highly attractive option for many businesses in a number of different sectors.