1. MegaPath Aims to Broaden Customer Base with Extended Ethernet

    CEN Feature (Nov 27 2012)

    1. MegaPath Aims to Broaden Customer Base with Extended Ethernet

      MegaPath aims to expand its addressable market with the extended Carrier Ethernet offering that it launched earlier this month. As MegaPath Vice President of Product Management for Network Services Pasha Mohammed explained in an interview, the new offering uses up to eight T-1 circuits from the incumbent carrier to deliver Carrier Ethernet services to areas that are beyond the reach of the Ethernet-over-copper services the company currently offers using unbundled copper wiring from the incumbent.

      Maximum extended Carrier Ethernet speeds are lower than for Ethernet-over-copper – 12 Mbps over eight T-1 loops versus 45 Mbps over eight naked copper loops, Mohammed explained. The advantage of extended Ethernet, he said, is that “there is no distance limitation” as long as the central office supports T-1 service, as most COs do.

      Currently customers can purchase dedicated Internet access over MegaPath’s extended Carrier Ethernet service. Onto this they can layer MPLS, voice and security services such as anti-virus protection, spam filtering and content filtering.

      MegaPath is “in the process of defining” services such as Ethernet private line, Ethernet virtual private line, E-LAN, and E-tree to run over the company’s extended Carrier Ethernet offering, Mohammed said.

      Extended Carrier Ethernet service is currently available from 138 of the 693 incumbent carrier COs that MegaPath uses. “December 1 we will add more to bring it to 230 in total,” Mohammed said.  And by the third quarter of next year the company hopes to support extended Carrier Ethernet services from all 693 COs.

      MegaPath expects the new extended Carrier Ethernet services to be popular with small- to medium-size businesses that have outgrown their existing bandwidth levels. Mohammed sees “significant upsell capability” as well as the ability to draw new customers that the company couldn’t attract in the past.

      I asked Mohammed if he foresees any problems obtaining copper loops from the incumbents now that AT&T has asked the FCC for permission to phase out its traditional TDM network, including its copper infrastructure.

      He said he’s hopeful that copper will continue to be available because it is so costly to replace it with fiber. In addition, he said, “We’re working with the local exchange carriers to get access to futuristic products like FiOS and U-verse.”

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