Comcast's new Metro Ethernet service using Ciena gear
Comcast's Metro Ethernet services range from 1 Mbps to 10 Gbps and come with three different classes of service backed by service level agreements and continuous monitoring from Comcast’s dedicated NOCs. The services leverage Comcast's 147,000 mile IP-based fiber optic network that serves 20 of the nation’s 25 largest markets (with plans to expand the service into new markets in the months ahead).
To enable the service, Comcast will use Ciena's LE-311v Service Delivery Switch as the customer premise equipment (CPE) that sits at customer sites. Comcast's Metro Ethernet service is targeted at the growing number of mid-sized businesses (20-500 employees) with multiple sites that are looking to deploy high-bandwidth services such as cloud computing and business continuity / disaster recovery.
The LE-311v, which is part of Ciena's broader Carrier Ethernet Service Delivery (CESD) portfolio, provides several features that are key to Comcast's Metro Ethernet offering. LE-311v's MEF-14 compliant QoS capabilities are used by Comcast to help enable three distinct classes of service to customers. Additionally, the LE-311v allows for fully remote "zero-touch" automated device configuration and service provisioning, enabling faster service provisioning and reduced OPEX. "The ability to remotely increase a customer’s bandwidth via software without rolling a truck or manually touching the box simplifies our operations and improves the customer experience,” said Kevin O’Toole, SVP of product management and strategy for Comcast Business Services, in today's press release.
Comcast's big push with Metro Ethernet services highlights the growing acceptance of carrier Ethernet as a base technology in business networks. Comcast is offering four services, includes Ethernet Private Line Service, Ethernet Point-to-Point Service, Ethernet Network Service, and Ethernet Dedicated Internet Access Service. And while carrier Ethernet-based services currently only make up a small share of the estimated $5 billion+ that the major U.S. MSOs pulled in from business services last year, Comcast's move suggests they see real growth in this market.
As part of today's news, Ciena also announced that Comcast has joined Ciena’s BizConnect global partner program as a designated Managed Service Provider partner.