Gigabit Ethernet, or “Gig-E” for short, is ultra-high capacity IP transit service offered to enterprises around the world by way of a fiber-optic cable that forms the backbone of the communication link between the carrier and the end-user. The word “Gigabit” refers to the capacity of the link, which is 1,000 Megabytes, or a Gigabyte, per second. The range of Gigabit Ethernet is typically between 1,000 Mb (1 Gb) and 40,000 Mb (40 Gb).
The term “Ethernet” simply refers to the type of IP handoff that takes place at each end of the connection. Gig-E, unlike copper-based services that are available just about everywhere, is limited solely to buildings where fiber has been built-in/installed/connected by a Gig service provider.