MegaPath wraps up its EoC roll network expansion effort

MegaPath, a CLEC that's been aggressively expanding its wares through various acquisitions, on Wednesday put the finishing touches on its nationwide Ethernet over Copper (EoC) network build.

Now available in the top 50 national U.S. markets, customers can use EoC to access MegaPath's Core MPLS network and Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities to ensure their applications get the necessary support.

The service is currently available in 693 U.S.-based ILEC Central Offices around the country. In its most recent network buildout drive, it started offering the service in six new markets: Las Vegas, Richmond, Va., San Antonio, Hartford, Conn, and Jacksonville and Tampa, Fla.

Brian Washburn, research director of network services for Current Analysis, told FierceTelecom in an interview that MegaPath's ability to reach its EoC buildout goal will bode well for it on both a retail and wholesale basis.

"It's noteworthy that MegaPath ultimately hit 693 COs (a little more than its projected 680 COs for its EoC buildout)," he said. "We believe MegaPath now operates more Ethernet over copper nodes than any other U.S. provider (XO is probably next-largest as a national competitor serving EoC, though XO hasn't publicly released EoC counts lately). While EoC typically can't go head-to-head with fiber access, it's an alternative venue that takes advantage of the popularity of Ethernet access to IP services for businesses."

Overall, MegaPath offers EoC on its network in the top 50 major markets such as Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Dallas, Miami and San Francisco, providing speeds up to 45 Mbps depending on available copper and plant conditions in the area where a particular business resides.

While new technologies are enabling MegaPath and other competitors like XO Communications and Windstream to deliver up to even 100 Mbps over existing copper, the real sweet spot in terms of speed tends to come in the range from 3 to 10 Mbps and, on the higher end, 20 Mbps.  

EoC continues to be an attractive option for SMBs, where the choices are limited to purchasing bonded T1s, a costly and often unreliable method, or cable modem services.

JDK Consulting, an IT and telecom consultant to doctors, attorneys and other small businesses, has been a strong advocate of MegaPath's EoC service.

John Kippen, JDK's CEO and president, said in an interview with FierceTelecom that he recommends EoC, especially for those customers that only need 10 to 20 Mbps, because it is more cost effective and reliable than other alternative access methods.

"EoC is better than bonding T1s because when you bond T1s together, not only is it much more costly but if you have one T1 that's failing or having problems, it affects the performance of the entire circuit and brings the circuit down," he said. "If one of the pairs in the EoC circuit fail, all they lose is a percentage of the bandwidth."

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