Comcast Aims Metro Ethernet At Midsize Businesses

Comcast announced an expanded portfolio of Metro Ethernet services available in 20 U.S. markets, as the operator looks to grab more share from telephone companies in the medium-size business services segment.

The Comcast Metro Ethernet services are targeted at midsize businesses, with 20 to 500 employees. The services are positioned as replacements for legacy telco technologies such as T-1 lines, Frame Relay and ATM.

"Our fiber-rich network powers our Metro Ethernet services and provides a secure, reliable and cost-effective solution for mid-sized businesses' data needs," Bill Stemper, president of Comcast Business Services, said in a statement. "Metro Ethernet is quickly overtaking T-1 and other legacy services as the preferred technology for business communications."

Comcast delivers bandwidth from 1 Mbps up to 10 Gbps that can be remotely scaled in increments of 1 Mbps, 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps or 1 Gbps, and offered with three different classes of service.

The Metro Ethernet services currently are available in: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Harrisburg, Pa., Hartford, Conn., Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Fla., Miami, Nashville, Tenn., Oakland, Calif., Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Washington D.C., western New England and the State of New Jersey. Additional markets will be launched on an ongoing basis.

Comcast reported business services revenue of $394 million for the three months ended March 31, 2011, up 50% versus the year-earlier period. The MSO boosted business services capital spending in the most recent quarter by 57%, to $152 million.

Comcast is the first carrier of Metro Ethernet services to have all three certifications from the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF 9, 14 and 18), which are backed by service level agreements and monitored around the clock from Comcast's dedicated network operations centers. Comcast operates more than 147,000 miles of fiber optic cable.

The services include Ethernet Private Line Service for point-to-point connectivity between two customer sites; Ethernet Virtual Private Line Service, a point-to-multipoint service; Ethernet Network Service, with multipoint-to-multipoint connectivity; and Ethernet Dedicated Internet Access Service, to provide connectivity between customers' local area networks and the public Internet.