OC-48 is a network line with transmission speeds of up to 2488.32 Mbit/s (payload: 2405.376 Mbit/s (2.405376 Gbit/s); overhead: 82.944 Mbit/s).
With relatively inexpensive interface prices, and being faster than OC-3, OC-12 connections, and even surpassing gigabit Ethernet, OC-48 connections are used as the backbones of many regional ISPs. Interconnections between large ISPs for purposes of peering or transit are quite common. As of 2005, the only connections in widespread use that surpass OC-48 speeds are OC-192 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
OC-48 is also used as transmission speed for tributaries from OC-192 nodes in order to optimize card slot utilization where lower speed deployments are used. Dropping at OC-12, OC-3 or STS-1 speeds are more commonly found on OC-48 terminals, where use of these cards on an OC-192 would not allow for full use of the available bandwidth.