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Comcast Rises In U.S. Ethernet Rankings

Comcast was the big mover in Vertical Systems’ mid-year 2014 U.S. Carrier Ethernet Leaderboard, with the MSO rising two spots -- from number eight to number six -- on the list.

In the latest rankings, AT&T retained its crown among U.S. providers, followed by Verizon Communications, tw telecom, CenturyLink Communications, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cox Communications, Level 3 Communications and XO Communications. To make the leaderboard, Vertical Systems has set a threshold of 4% or more of billable port installations.

Companies in the firm’s U.S. Challenge Tier (1% to 4% share) for the first half of 2014 included Charter Communications, Cogent, Lightpath (Cablevision Systems), MegaPath, Windstream and Zayo.

“Now beyond the hockey stick ramp stage, the U.S. Ethernet services market has entered a very healthy growth period. During the first half of 2014, more new Ethernet customer ports were installed than during any previous corresponding period,” said Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group, in a statement.

Vertical Systems notes that a shakeout of the U.S. Leaderboard could be on the horizon amid the pending mergers of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and Level 3 and tw telecom.

Comcast made its recent jump on the leaderboard as its Comcast Business unit continues to expand the reach of its Metro Ethernet platform  and attract more commercial customers to Ethernet-class services.  Comcast doesn’t break out precisely how much revenue is coming way of its Ethernet platform, but the MSO’s business unit pulled in $965 million in the second quarter of 2014, up from $788 million in the year-ago quarter, putting the division on pace for $3.76 billion for all of 2014.

A “key engine in that growth is Ethernet,” Mike Tighe, the executive director of data services for Comcast Business, wrote in this blog post. “Our growth and success with Ethernet is largely driven by the fact that too many businesses have had to rely on T1s or DSL because they had no other option,” he added.