Cable and Ethernet: Like Peas and Carrots

June 5, 2013
Ethernet celebrated its 40th anniversary in May with a shindig/summit at the Computer History Museum in California - a location, by the way, that is not terribly far from Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where Bob Metcalfe wrote the memo that first detail...
Ethernet celebrated its 40th anniversary in May with a shindig/summit at the Computer History Museum in California - a location, by the way, that is not terribly far from Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where Bob Metcalfe wrote the memo that first detailed the concept.Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) had a presence at the confab, not only as a participant and observer, but also as the provider of Ethernet connectivity for the event. The operator was positioned well to get a 100 Mbps service up and running quickly since it had fiber close by, said Karen Schmidt, VP of marketing for Comcast Business.In the world of Ethernet, cable is a relative newcomer. Even still, Comcast already has made inroads into 20 of the top 25 U.S. markets. Getting into the game a little later in the technology cycle, in this case, may have been beneficial."We don't have legacies in terms of T-1s or SONET," Schmidt said. "We have an IP-based network to begin with."In terms of staying power, Ethernet is the technology of choice among business customers. "We've seen a growth in demand and the role it can play as businesses are looking to solve more growing bandwidth needs," Schmidt said.One of the questions surrounding Ethernet is how it will fare as cloud computing continues to grow in popularity as a way to meet these bandwidth demands and to increase business productivity. In the end, connectivity still matters when putting data in the cloud or relying on applications that count on the outside premises, Schmidt said."Ethernet is flexible and changing as the market changes and proving itself to be right on board with the consolidation of data and real-time applications like video," Schmidt said. "I do believe it will grow at the pace it has."Something Comcast considers important for Ethernet moving forward is continued standards work related to interoperability. The Metro Ethernet Forum's Carrier Ethernet 2.0, for example, got the ball rolling in this area, and a newer service operations committee will take it to another level. "(It is about) how to simplify and agree across carriers of different sizes and (in different) countries," Schmidt said.As for Comcast, the goal is to continue expanding its footprint. While the company is a fiber-based provider, it recently made all the same specs of Ethernet available over its HFC plant as well. "This is a unique position for cable," Schmidt said. "We can offer many more sites (now) .... We are expanding our ability to serve the enterprise customer."Monta Monaco Hernon is a free-lance writer. She can be reached at [email protected].

Sponsored Recommendations

The Journey to 1.6 Terabit Ethernet

May 16, 2024
Embark on a journey into the future of connectivity as IEEE P802.3dj Task Force leaders unveil the groundbreaking strides towards 1.6 Terabit Ethernet, revolutionizing the landscape...

Coherent Routing and Optical Transport – Getting Under the Covers

April 11, 2024
Join us as we delve into the symbiotic relationship between IPoDWDM and cutting-edge optical transport innovations, revolutionizing the landscape of data transmission.

From 100G to 1.6T: Navigating Timing in the New Era of High-Speed Optical Networks

Feb. 19, 2024
Discover the dynamic landscape of hyperscale data centers as they embrace accelerated AI/ML growth, propelling a transition from 100G to 400G and even 800G optical connectivity...

Data Center Network Advances

April 2, 2024
Lightwave’s latest on-topic eBook, which AFL and Henkel sponsor, will address advances in data center technology. The eBook looks at various topics, ranging...