Right in time for next week's COMPTEL trade show in Dallas, FairPoint Communications (Nasdaq: FRP) has launched its new Carrier Ethernet Services (CES) 2.0 service.
Designed to serve its wholesale carrier customer base, including wireless backhaul customers, the CES 2.0 service includes a Class of Service (CoS) capability that allows customers to prioritize traffic based on application.
"This is valuable because wholesale customers (i.e., CLECs/RLECs/ILECs/wireless) buying the service to resell or combine with their networks can easily extend the CoS to their customers," said Roopashree Honnachari, program manager of business communication services at Frost & Sullivan, in an interview with FierceTelecom.
Honnachari said adding CoS will enable FairPoint to more rapidly provision Ethernet services with more solid Service Level Agreements (SLAs), regardless of whether it is providing the service over its own fiber network or through a carrier partner.
"It is more critical when selling directly to enterprises to support converged apps like voice/video/data," she said. "However, considering wholesale customers are buying the service to eventually sell it to enterprises, it is crucial. This helps them to quickly provision the services with better SLAs on on-net and off-net networks."
Of course, FairPoint is not the only provider to do this, as large incumbents like Verizon (NYSE: VZ) also have begun offering similar capabilities.
This enhanced wholesale service builds on FairPoint's Carrier Ethernet E-Line service targeting Northern New England-based service providers, which the company debuted last October.
In its New England territory, FairPoint wholesale leverages its Vantage Point fiber and MPLS-based network to deliver a host of Ethernet services, including Ethernet Private Line and Ethernet Virtual Private Line for point-to-point and point-to-multipoint solutions, with speeds ranging from 5 Mbps to 1 Gbps.
Although FairPoint's Ethernet network reach is primarily designed to serve Northern New England, the telco said it currently reaches 90 percent of its business customer base in the region.
Augmenting this service with CoS and SLA capabilities comes at a time when regulators in the New England region are realigning the way they regulate traditional telecom service providers like FairPoint. Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have proposed or passed regulations that allow telcos to more effectively compete with traditional CLECs and aggressive cable operators in the consumer, business and wholesale markets.
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