CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), Frontier and TelePacfic are the latest service providers to begin participating in the Metro Ethernet Forum's (MEF) Ethernet Interconnect Points (EIP) project, an effort to create standard guidelines for Ethernet interconnection.
Working alongside AT&T (NYSE: T), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Windstream, which have already been testing prototypes at the University of New Hampshire's Interoperability Lab, MEF said that this participation shows the need to create a common Ethernet connectivity fabric that is able to transport customers' traffic seamlessly across multiple carrier networks.
With EIP Rapid Prototyping, service providers can assess the implementation of the draft sections of the EIP Implementation Guideline (Use Case 1, Phase 1), which is approaching the final stages of MEF member review and approval.
Service providers that offer Ethernet can use the Implementation Guideline to learn how they can evolve their networks to meet full "MEF 26.1 External Network to Network Interface (E-NNI)" and "MEF 33 Ethernet Access Services Definitions" specifications, either all at once or in a series of steps. The first use case of the initial Implementation Guideline involves an Ethernet Private Line service created between two operators. MEF will release the draft of the guideline during its Quarterly Members Meeting that will be held 25-28 January 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
But the EIP Implementation Guideline is just one element of the MEF's interconnection standardization plans. Future releases of the guideline will focus on additional use cases with broader service provider participation. One of these elements will include the "MEF 51 OVC Services Definitions," which includes the new wholesale E-Transit service that promises to play a fundamental role in accelerating adoption of CE 2.0 (Carrier Ethernet 2.0) services, for example.
A number of the service providers that are participating in this program have been aggressively enhancing their ability to accommodate other carriers' out-of-franchise wholesale Ethernet requests to fulfill multi-site business requests.
One service provider that's been going in that direction is Frontier, which recently introduced its E-PATH service, giving its wholesale Ethernet customers a new regional E-NNI option to connect their off-net business customer locations.
Building on 1 Gbps NNI with its Metro Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) offering, E-PATH provides customers a 10 Gbps interface and the option to move outside a LATA restriction.
- see the release
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