Integra Telecom on Tuesday debuted a 60 Mbps symmetrical Ethernet over Copper (EoC) service, extending Ethernet service into areas that it can't currently can't reach with fiber yet.
Similar to the fiber-based offering, customers can still use EoC to access the CLEC's suite of IP/MPLS VPN Solutions, Ethernet Services, high bandwidth internet, SIP and Hosted Voice Services.
A key focus of the service is about providing a greater set of access options for both retail and wholesale customers.
At a time when it is trying to serve more larger-sized multisite business customers, the higher speed EoC service will resonate with those customers that want a higher speed Ethernet option for their remote offices. Likewise, the 60 Mbps offering will resonate with wholesale customers that are trying to fulfill their own multi-site business customer's needs with sites that reside out of their regions.
Kevin O'Hara, CEO of Integra Telecom, while a major advocate of fiber-based networking as one of the early founders of Level 3 Communications (NYSE: LVLT), told FierceTelecom in a previous interview that he's encouraged by what they can do with existing copper and EoC.
"When you've got as much embedded plant as exists in the copper world it won't all get replaced overnight, but there's going to be logical places where you're going to retire copper and replace it with fiber," O'Hara said. "If you look at how much copper is out there, there's going to be a lot of people saying, how do you extend the life of that?"
O'Hara added that they are pushing "60 Mbps over copper plant safely at 2,500 feet, which brings in a pretty substantial footprint when you look at our enabled COs."
Serving as a complement to its growing fiber network, EoC enables Integra to reach over 400,000 businesses and is carried over its fiber-fed Local Service Offices (LSOs) that are linked to the company's fiber backbone.
Offering double the capacity of its previous 30 Mbps offering, the new 60 Mbps EoC service is available throughout Integra's 11-state network. Since deploying fiber and copper-based Ethernet can sometimes be more art than science, the CLEC offers customers an interactive network map that enables current and potential customers to see if specific building can be served by its network.
O'Hara said that with these software tools they have been able to "pre-qualify thousands of near-net locations."
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