FairPoint, now a subsidiary of Consolidated Communications, has launched its virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE), marking the service provider’s movement toward network functions virtualization (NFV) for business customers.
As a cloud-based routing solution, the value of vCPE is that a business won’t have to manage dedicated on-premises routing, WAN, IP and VoIP services on its premises.
Doug Abolt, vice president of commercial product management at FairPoint Communications, said in a release that the vCPE product “simplifies operations and reduces capital expense by eliminating the need for continued investment in routing hardware.”
FairPoint is targeting the vCPE service at small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), a segment that often lacks the network expertise to manage complex routing and network elements.
As a fully managed solution, FairPoint manages all routing components, along with service upgrades and maintenance. Because the service incorporates redundancy and built-in geographical diversity, the provider claims there’s no downtime with vCPE service delivery. Also, vCPE provides service level assurance-backed, dedicated symmetrical Ethernet services.
vCPE is available now in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. However, neither FairPoint nor Consolidated have indicated if they will offer vCPE in their broader network footprint.
While the service is only available in Northern New England, the service provider’s parent Consolidated could use it as a precursor to advance a virtualization effort throughout its network footprint. Besides vCPE, Consolidated already offers a wide range of cloud-based services such as cloud compute and unified communications.