FairPoint brings E-LAN service to New Hampshire's Mount Washington Observatory

FairPoint Communications (Nasdaq: FRP) on Wednesday completed a network project at the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire, extending its set of Ethernet-based services to the nonprofit research and educational institution.

A key driver for Mount Washington Observatory was to consolidate all of the services it receives from multiple carriers to just one service provider. By switching to FairPoint, which is providing its Ethernet-based connectivity, the non-profit organization will have a network that can support an array of services including Internet, phone and video conferencing.

By switching to FairPoint's Ethernet service, the Mount Washington Observatory will be able to simultaneously support two distinct needs: the North Conway Weather Discovery Center (an interactive science museum) and its video conference link with the ConnectNH program at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.

Gary Plant, Mount Washington Observatory's CFO, said in a release announcing the new network connection that before FairPoint installed its new Ethernet-based network system, the Observatory had been faced with the challenge of an unpredictable wireless microwave connection to the summit. Plant added that connections "could be lost or slowed considerably due to inclement weather and/or not enough bandwidth at peak user times."

A key challenge for FairPoint was extending its network facilities, which are delivered over its IP network, to the Observatory's remote facilities. During an eight month period, the service provider said it had to overcome inclement weather on the summit. while traveling to North Conway and Durham to install a 10 Mbps Ethernet Local Area Network (E-LAN) service, 10 megabit Ethernet Dedicated Internet Access (EDIA) service and high capacity Ethernet data circuits, in addition to voice services.

The service provider was able to complete the work on the network connection right before the Mt. Washington Auto Road had to be shut down for the winter.

While FairPoint won't announce its earnings until later next month, Ethernet has become an increasing growth engine in its earnings. In Q3 2012, the service provider reported that Ethernet services contributed about $10.7 million of revenue, up from $10.2 million in Q2 2012 and $4.2 million in Q3 2011.

For more:
- see the release

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