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With the integration of the former Electric Lightwave (ELI) and Eschelon behind them, Integra Telecom is aggressively upping the ante of its copper and fiber-based Ethernet services to serve both its retail business and growing base of wholesale customers.
While small businesses still make up the majority of its retail service revenue (53 percent), Integra has been growing its medium-sized business (43 percent), enterprise (1) percent and wholesale division (12 percent) of its total business.
The service provider is taking a multi-pronged Ethernet delivery strategy that will initially address its fiber customer based with a new E-Line Ethernet Private Line and Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL). From there, Integra will extend the E-Line and EVPL over its copper assets, specifically Ethernet over Copper (EoC) access network.
Overall, Integra Telecom's Ethernet services reach 75 percent of businesses in its service footprint with over 1,400 fiber-fed commercial buildings.
As an MEF standards-based product, Integra will offer its EoC service in bandwidth increments of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 Mbps increments.
Currently, Integra has EoC in about 104 COs (central offices) with "plans to add an additional 21 COs this year," said Bryan Adams, Ethernet Product Manager, Integra Telecom.
Source: Integra Telecom company overview, March 2011.
Even though Integra has set its sights on using Ethernet to target enterprises, Integra sees EoC as a sound medium to help SMBs that are also demanding more bandwidth than what a traditional rigid TDM-based can provide. Like larger businesses, Integra's SMB customers want to leverage EoC as a mechanism to get higher speed symmetric bandwidth as they move various functions such as storage into the cloud.
"Because Ethernet over Copper allows us efficient ways to deliver lower bandwidth in the neighborhood of 3-5 Mbps of service, we can leverage the network to provide the same level of service that we're providing to enterprise customers at attractive price points and similar functionality to the SMB marketplace as well," Adams said.
Throughout the rest of 2011, Integra's Ethernet story will be written around enhancing how it delivers Ethernet to its four main segments--SMB, medium business, enterprise and wholesale.
Integra's plan to expand fiber and copper-based Ethernet services are being used as the foundation for its retail service segment, including cloud computing services for medium and large national enterprise customers. At the same time, they will continue to build its base of fiber and Ethernet services to 180 cell sites.
With $100 million investment dedicated to its network vision, Integra has a good chance at meeting its EoC and fiber-based Ethernet goals.
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