BellSouth launches Virtual Metro Ethernet Service

August 8, 2006 Atlanta -- BellSouth announced today the launch of Virtual BellSouth Metro Ethernet Service, the latest addition to what the carrier claims is the broadest Metro Ethernet portfolio available among U.S. service providers.

August 8, 2006 Atlanta -- BellSouth announced today the launch of Virtual BellSouth Metro Ethernet Service, the latest addition to what the carrier claims is the broadest Metro Ethernet portfolio available among U.S. service providers.

Metro Ethernet is the telecommunications industry designation for Ethernet transport service that moves data traffic between two or more customer Ethernet Local Area Networks (LANs). Virtual BellSouth Metro Ethernet Service provides four classes of service, committed information rate, and service level agreements and can link locations using multipoint-to-multipoint, point-to-multipoint, or point-to-point architecture.

"The latest enhancement to BellSouth Metro Ethernet Service takes the product portfolio to the next level," contends Martin Chandler, vice president, product management Business Markets, BellSouth. "BellSouth now offers the diversity of speed and premium features to support the entire range of data, video, and voice-over-IP applications over Ethernet."

Early adopters of the service may include companies from finance, health care, manufacturing, education, and local government segments that require guaranteed throughput; comprehensive service level agreements; and high-speed, cost effective Ethernet service to support multiple applications.

With Virtual BellSouth Metro Ethernet Service, customers can designate traffic into four different classes with different routing priorities: best effort, business critical, interactive, and real-time. Real-time and interactive classes are suitable for applications that have a low tolerance for delays, such as voice and video. Business critical and best effort are used to distinguish higher priority business data from non-critical applications such as email and general Web surfing.

Businesses can combine more than one class of service on the same Ethernet port, say BellSouth representatives, creating additional virtual ports and allocating the appropriate bandwidth to each application. For example, a customer may decide to order a virtual port that uses 90% of the bandwidth to support email, while assigning the remaining 10% for voice-over-IP. The email would be designated as best-effort class of service and the voice-over-IP as real-time. These virtual ports can be adjusted through a Web interface based on the bandwidth required and the applications in use.

Committed information rate, meanwhile, ensures guaranteed bandwidth throughput for customers and is available at the following speeds: 2-, 4-, 8-, 10-, 20-, 50-, 80-, 100-, 200-, 300-, 450-, 600-, 750-, and 900 Mbits/sec. This provides additional service assurance to businesses.

BellSouth offers SLAs for the following metrics according to the class of service designation:
• Network availability -- 99.5 to 99.995%
• Jitter -- 1 millisecond
• Latency -- 5 to 15 milliseconds
• Packet delivery -- 99.9 to 99.995%
• Time to repair -- 4 hours

SLAs are supported by Web-accessible customer network management software, and credits are awarded if service levels drop below contractual levels.

BellSouth recently launched Mid-band Ethernet speeds options of 2-, 4-, and 8 Mbits/sec over both copper and fiber and expanded Metro Ethernet access to Network VPN throughout the Southeast. Virtual Ethernet functionality also is available in Mid-band Ethernet speeds and in Metro Ethernet access to Network VPN applications.

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