January 16, 2005 Santa Clara, CA -- Manhattanites no doubt have seen the new billboards that grace their city's skyline, part of a multimedia blitz from Optimum Lightpath touting the performance and economic benefits of its new metro Ethernet service offerings. But for the folks at Atrica, who are providing the Ethernet equipment, the promotional campaign itself is further proof that Carrier Ethernet is ready for prime time, reports Lightwave Senior News Editor Meghan Fuller.
Optimum Lightpath operates the largest fiber-optic network in New York State, delivering converged, IP-based data, Internet, and voice services to roughly 4,000 enterprise customers throughout Long Island, Westchester County, New York City, southern Connecticut, and northern New Jersey. It is the fifth largest LEC in New York State and the fourth largest in the New York metropolitan area. And now it is the most prominent incumbent service provider in the U.S. to deliver Ethernet services as its core business service, says Umesh Kukreja, director of product marketing at Atrica (Santa Clara, CA).
"Unlike Yipes or other service providers who were looking for a niche type of service delivery opportunity three or four years ago, this is an existing provider with a strong base of existing services, and it has chosen to deliver Ethernet as the core business service in the largest market in the U.S," he notes. "We think that's significant."
Optimum Lightpath's multimedia promotional campaign, which includes both television and radio advertisements, is also significant, he says. "This is part of a trend toward the adoption and promotion of marketing metro Ethernet to the enterprises that have been demanding it for a long time. Many of the other service providers, including the ILECs, have had a very defensive approach to delivering Ethernet services. We believe that this is a strong, positive change for the development of Ethernet services in the U.S. If this trend continues," he adds, "we will be able to catch up with Europe and Asia Pacific."
Optimum Lightpath today offers a variety of Ethernet-based services, including the Lightpath E-Line and E-LAN Ethernet services and dedicated Internet access via Ethernet service, all of which are delivered over a single, converged network. Developed in response to enterprise customers' demands for resilient, reliable, high-capacity data services, all of Optimum Lightpath's services support flexible bandwidths and SONET-like 50-msec protection, enabling mission-critical IP-based data, Internet, and voice services for medium and large enterprises in the healthcare, education, government, and financial services industries.
Optimum Lightpath advertises high-bandwidth connectivity at prices up to 70% less than traditional high-capacity services (such as DS-3 and OC-n) for point-to-point or multi-point applications, including video conferencing, off-site storage, distance learning, medical imaging, and reliable Internet access. The carrier's Ethernet services enable enterprises to link multiple locations, run bandwidth-intensive applications, and converge multiple types of content over a single network infrastructure.
"Our customers require high-speed communications services to power their business applications, and only metro Ethernet provides them with the reliability, flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiency they need," reports Dave Pistacchio, executive vice president and general manager of Optimum Lightpath. "Atrica's Carrier Ethernet solutions are part of our next-generation, fully fiber-optic data network infrastructure that is enabling us to deliver a wide range of metro Ethernet offerings that reduce our customers' costs, increase their productivity, and improve their operational flexibility while lowering our capital and operational expenditures."
Following a rigorous selection process, Optimum Lightpath purchased Atrica's equipment because the vendor met five critical requirements, including support for TDM traffic via Circuit Emulation; guaranteed end-to-end service level agreements (SLAs) with CIR and EIR; sub-50-msec resiliency; scalability of the network architecture; and carrier-class management and provisioning, says Kukreja.
Optimum Lightpath has deployed Atrica's A-2000 family of Carrier Ethernet Edge Switches, the A-4000 family of Carrier Ethernet Aggregation Switches, and the Atrica Service Platform for Ethernet Networks (ASPEN), an integrated service provisioning and management system.
"With this announcement, service providers can no longer doubt that manageable, reliable Carrier Ethernet equipment exists, with SLAs on which to develop and offer differentiated services," notes Michael Howard, principal analyst and co-founder of Infonetics Research (San Jose, CA). "Cablevision's Optimum Lightpath is a major provider with substantial and accelerating Ethernet service revenues in 2005, delivering end-to-end SLAs and SONET-like 50-msec protection over Carrier Ethernet equipment to major financial, government, medical, and education customers. Lightpath is not a test case," he adds, "but a real proof-point of the viability and innovation we can expect of Carrier Ethernet services."