Comcast's (Nasdaq: CMCSA) launch of its Metro Ethernet service suite shows how serious the cable MSO is serious about taking on the RBOCs and CLECs to serve medium-sized business customers.
News of Comcast's new Metro Ethernet offering comes on the heels of news that emerged last week that its PRI replacement service, which is also targeted at medium businesses, is now available to 85 percent of its service footprint.
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At that time, Kevin O'Toole, senior vice president of product management and strategy for Comcast Business Services, said in a CED Magazine article that in additional hosted PBX and PRI replacement it was seeing "a lot of additional upside in the Metro Ethernet space."
Set on serving mid-sized businesses that have 20-500 employees, Comcast's Metro Ethernet services are currently available in 20 U.S. markets with plans to expand into additional markets in upcoming months.
Although Comcast has been delivering Ethernet over its existing coax network, the MSO is selling the differentiation of the new Metro Ethernet service on the fact that it's carried over its fiber network.
The new offering includes four flavors: point-to-point Ethernet Private Line (EPL) service; point-to-multipoint Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL); a multi-point-to-multipoint Ethernet Network Service; and Ethernet Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) Service.
With the new four-pronged offering, Comcast is offering speeds that start as low as 1 Mbps and scale up to 10 Gbps with three Classes of Service (CoS). Each of the services also have the three certifications from the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF 9, 14 and 18), and are backed by service level agreements.
While it's still too early to tell how effective Comcast's service will be in taking away RBOC and CLEC business where it's available, it should serve as a sign that Comcast is showing a greater seriousness about business services that was traditionally dominated by fellow MSO Cox Business.
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