Charter Climbs Carrier Ethernet Ladder

Thanks in large part to its acquisitions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, Charter Communications is now the third-largest supplier of Carrier Ethernet services, trailing only AT&T and Level 3 Communications.

That’s according to Vertical Systems Group following the release of its mid-year 2016 U.S. Leaderboard, which ranks companies on retail port share. Vertical Systems Group’s Leaderboard threshold is 4% or more of billable port installations.

Among cable operators, Comcast is the sixth-largest in the U.S., while Cox Communications is eighth.   The aggregation of Charter and its acquisitions dropped Verizon to fourth.

At the end of 2015, TWC was the largest cable MSO, ranked fifth, on the Leaderboard, while Charter and Bright House were relegated to the “Challenge Tier,” which includes companies that have between 1% to 4% share of the U.S. retail Ethernet market.

“The competitive balance of the Ethernet marketplace is evident, as more than 60 percent of new connections were delivered by CLECs and Cable MSOs during the first half of 2016,” Rick Malone, principal of Vertical Systems Group, said in a statement. “Our analysis shows a 17% annualized growth rate for U.S. Carrier Ethernet services for the full year.”

Cogent, Integra, Lightpath (now part of Altice USA) and Zayo were in the Challenge Tier for the mid-2016 tally.

Vertical’s Market Player tier (share below 1%) included the following: Alpheus Communications, American Telesis, Birch Communications, BT Global Services, Cincinnati Bell, Consolidated Communications, Earthlink Business, Expedient, FairPoint, FiberLight, Frontier, Global Capacity, Global Cloud Xchange, GTT, Hawaiian Telecom, Lightower, LS Networks, Lumos Networks, Masergy, MegaPath, NTT America, Orange Business, RCN Business, Sprint, SuddenLink (now part of Altice USA), Tata, TDS Telecom, TelePacific, Telstra, US Signal, WOW!Business and other companies selling retail Ethernet services in the U.S. market.