To meet the data transport demands of large-scale applications, several research and production networks now offer dedicated connections between client subnets or hosts. Such dedicated connections can be provisioned using two fundamentally different technologies: (i) SONET or Ethernet connections over switched networks; and (ii) MPLS tunnels over routed networks. Since these two options represent significantly different cost-benefit trade-offs, performance comparison between the connections provisioned using them is essential to making deployment decisions. We compare 1Gbps dedicated connections with lengths up to several thousand miles over UltraScience Net and ESnet, wherein the dedicated connections are implemented as SONET connections and MPLS tunnels, respectively. In terms of bandwidth measurements, throughput profiles, file transfer rates and message delays, both types of connections offer comparable performances. Furthermore, these performance parameters are preserved when hybrid connections are composed by concatenating SONET connections and MPLS tunnels using VLANs implemented on them.