Trends Report

Market Overview: US Ethernet Services

VPLS Growth Drives Momentum As Half Of US Firms Adopt Carrier Ethernet

May 24th, 2010
With contributors:
Lauren Nelson , Robert Whiteley III


Half of all North American enterprises are now deploying carrier Ethernet services, with particular interest in VPLS-based Ethernet LAN (E-LAN) services. However, not all service providers are the same. Infrastructure and operations (I&O) managers need to pay close attention to geographic coverage, which varies widely, especially for the smaller providers. New developments, including Ethernet network-to-network interfaces (NNIs) and Ethernet Exchanges, will enable the smaller providers to offer full national coverage by interconnecting their networks with class-of-service transparency. Type of services also varies; some providers don't yet offer VPLS-based E-LAN services, while others have only just launched them. Today, most service providers' standard offerings are unmanaged services and their SLAs are POP-to-POP. This is rapidly changing in favor of managed services and end-to end SLAs. SLAs for availability, installation, and repair times vary considerably, as do prices. In fact, we found that on some routes the most expensive rates for both 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps EPLs were as much as eight times the lowest prices. What's that mean? Carrier Ethernet is still an overall immature market.

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