The use of Ethernet beyond the LAN environment, initially dubbed "metro Ethernet," is gaining acceptance as a wide-area solution, details a new survey by the Yankee Group (Boston), which reports that 49% of respondents accessing Ethernet services today use it to address intercity site-to-site connectivity.
IP virtual private networks (VPNs), WANs, and convergence support are critical for Ethernet services, say analysts. The 278 survey respondents who currently use an Ethernet service admit that access to an IP VPN and application prioritization are their top feature requirements. Although Ethernet is primarily used to support applications such as Internet access and file transfer, respondents expect to double the amount of voice and video deployments over the next two years.
The MAN/WAN Ethernet market was once a CLEC supply-driven market, but the IXCs-led by AT&T and the RBOCs-are now dominating provider selection among respondents. On average, survey respondents use 2.2 service providers to support their Ethernet services.
"Ethernet marketing and sales efforts should focus on reliability and cost savings," explains David Parks, senior analyst with the Yankee Group's Telecommunication Strategies United States. "However, other key considerations are emerging for businesses as top factors in selecting an Ethernet solution and service provider, such as geographic reach and support for managed end-to-end solutions."
The "2004 Metro Ethernet Survey" examines 308 U.S. businesses that either use (or plan to use) Ethernet to support their Internet access-, metro-, or wide-area-networking requirements. For more details, visit www.yankeegroup.com.