<< Return to Part 5
Along with AT&T (NYSE: T) and the recently CenturyLink-acquired Qwest, XO Communications (OTC BB: XOHO) prides itself as being one of the early Ethernet over Copper (EoC) service pioneers.
"Ethernet over Copper is a home run hit for retail customers, especially when you're looking at customers that have 300-500 sites and you're able to hit them with multiple EoC LSOs" - Paul Dufek, XO
Late last year, XO had expanded its Ethernet over Copper (EoC) network by more than 30 percent, a long-term goal that not only increased its EoC coverage in 39 existing markets, but also saw them launching the service in Charlotte, N.C., Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y.
Available in 85 markets, XO offers three EoC speed tiers (3 Mbps, 5 Mbps, 10 Mbps, 15 Mbps and 20 Mbps) currently out of 419 LSOs. In total, the CLEC can reach more than 5 million business locations via EoC with more than 1,000 CO's directly connected to its fiber network.
Right now, the most popular speed in its EoC product offering continues to be 3-5 Mbps displacing traditional T1 circuits with growing potential for 10 Mbps.
One vertical market segment that's responding EoC service is retail and is a big hit with 3-5 Mbps speed segment site business customers. "Retail growth in this 3-5 Mbps range is huge," said Paul Dufek, Senior Product Manager, XO Communications. "Ethernet over Copper is a home run hit for retail customers, especially when you're looking at customers that have 300-500 sites and you're able to hit them with multiple EoC LSOs puts us at a competitive advantage."
What's helping XO reach multisite retail chains and expanding its EoC footprint is a combination of improvements not only in EoC platforms, but also the way it works to acquire copper pairs from the ILECs.
"It's very low cost compelling and as a medium we've been very successful with Ethernet over Copper," Dufek said. "As this product set goes into a lifecycle of more maturity some of the hardware platforms have given us new capabilities and we've gotten much better at working with the LECs to qualify the DSO copper loops."
Even though XO plans to continue expanding its LSO reach, it won't do it in cities where it does not have network elements.
XO Communications' IP network map.
XO, of course, is not completely going it alone in its EoC expansion. As other competitive carrier partners start to offer their own EoC services, XO is establishing External-Network to Network Interconnection (E-NNI) relationships expand outside of their respective footprint.
One of the trends that XO is riding is the advent of E-NNI hubs, which allows them to purchase lower priced services, including EoC to simultaneously hit multiple markets.
"What we're seeing in this market as it evolves is I can actually buy Type II Ethernet over Copper from some of these other CLECs cheaper than I can go to the LEC via the advent of E-NNI hubs," Dufek said. "These E-NNI hubs are not just for optical networks because now they are aggregating Ethernet over Copper on their network so I can deploy an NNI and hit several markets."
Since EoC is just an access medium, what matters to business customers are the services it enables. With that in mind, the common theme that XO will continue to tout with its EoC offerings are that it they be used as a foundation for a host of services, including VoIP and cloud-based security services.
"EoC fits well XO's product set of combining the customer's data needs with our IP Flex SIP offering and dedicated Internet so we can use that one pipe to provide several products and services to the customer," Dufek said.