P2P (Point-to-Point Connection)

A point-to-point connection is a permanent direct communication link between two parties. Unlike a dial-up connection, it does not need to be established via dial-up or disconnected following communication. In the early stages of the telecommunication age, these connections often consisted of circuit-switched landlines. Today, point-to-point connections are achieved in modern telecommunication networks via superordinate multiplex hierarchies or fibre-optic networks. Depending on the type, P2Ps can be used to transmit analogue or digital information. Bit transparency is a typical characteristic of a digital P2P. A point-to-point connection has to be installed by a provider and made available to the customer in order to be used for communication purposes.

The different types of point-to-point connections

There are different types of point-to-point connections with differing bandwidths depending on the application. Common designations are the product names used by Deutsche Telekom such as direct data link (Datendirektverbindung - DDV) or standard point-to-point connection (Standardfestverbindung - SFV). Analogue point-to-point connections allow transmission of a defined frequency spectrum; digital connections are available in bandwidths ranging from a few kilobits to several gigabits.

In addition to limited bandwidth connections, fibre-optic P2Ps are increasingly being offered via so-called dark fibres without limits on usage or bandwidth. The name “dark fibre” stems from the fact that in the case of this point-to-point connection the customer himself is required to provide the “light" for information transfer.

Point-to-point connections use specific interfaces, such as G.703, X.21, Ethernet or others, depending on the type and the medium used. In order to provide point-to-point connections with high availability and low error rates, the connections in the superordinate, actively managed hierarchies can be automatically or manually switched to alternate routes. 

Applications for point-to-point connections

Depending on the type, P2Ps can be used for a variety of applications. Computer centres are often interlinked or branch offices connected to headquarters via P2Ps. Telephone systems can also be interlinked using permanent P2Ps. A point-to-point connection to the internet allows cloud telephone systems to be used on a permanent basis.

Carriers often establish connections between various communication services via so-called carrier point-to-point connections (CP2Ps).