XO ups EoC ante with new 100 Mbps speeds

Will extend Ethernet access to almost 2 million locations
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XO Communications on Wednesday debuted a 100 Mbps Ethernet over Copper speed tier and announced plans to extend its overall Ethernet service reach to serve almost 2 million buildings.

Initially offering 3-20 Mbps, the new 100 Mbps option means that XO's customers can take advantage of a broader range of speeds that scale from as low as 3-100 Mbps. 

The other key element of XO's EoC offering is reach.

The CLEC said that by the end of year it will have enabled over 500 Local Switching Offices (LSOs) with Ethernet and will continue to work with various partners such as Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN) and establish External Network to Network Interface (E-NNI) agreements with other carriers to further extend its reach. When it completes this latest network expansion, XO will have EoC enabled in over 799 LSOs.

On a competitive front, the new 100 Mbps offering ups the ante in the EoC race where a host of other players including Alpheus, Integra Telecom and MegaPath have been also expanding their wares.

Integra, which mainly serves the Midwest and West, just introduced a new 60 Mbps offering on Tuesday, while MegaPath announced in October that it has built out EoC to 50 U.S. states delivering up to 45 Mbps.

While the CLEC acknowledges they have seen more competitors enter the market, Sam Koetter, senior product manager, Ethernet services for XO, told FierceTelecom in a previous interview that he thinks what sets them apart from others is that they own their own network.

"We had some of our customers say: 'we're going to start buying from this other provider, which was to add more vendors and not a price issue," Koetter said. "The good thing about XO and others like Windstream is we have our own network so we have 'owner economics' whereas a lot of other competitors don't. They have to lease backhaul and buy extra colo space in those LSOs. XO enjoys owner economics on the services. If it comes down to a price discussion, we can normally win in that discussion."

Koetter added that because XO was an early adopter of EoC, they have more knowledge of how to take advantage of techniques to get the desired rate and reach out of the copper pairs to ensure they can deliver the service effectively.

"What some of those mostly other carrier customers who have tried out other providers have realized is that the newer guys are not as good at understanding how to make it work because it's a little more art than science sometimes," he said. "We found that our service delivery is better than a lot of those newer folks who have entered the market so being one of the first to market has helped us."

For more:
- see the release

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Related articles:
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MegaPath wraps up its EoC roll network expansion effort