Qwest expands Ethernet service availability

Qwest Communications announced that it rolled out Ethernet service in 759 new cities this year, and now it serves a total of 1,129 U.S. markets and six international markets. What's more, about 95 percent of these markets are outside of the telco's traditional 14-state service area.

While Ethernet service providers have been busily one-upping one another in recent years with such expansion announcements, Qwest pointed out that it isn't spending new money on new infrastructure to do it. Rather, in many cases, it is leveraging installed fiber and partnerships with carriers in markets where it doesn't have its own infrastructure, said Eric Bozich, vice president of product management for Qwest.

"We use the assets we have in the ground where we can, but [in out-of-region markets] we won't over-build AT&T and Verizon," Bozicch said. "We'll partner with them and use their networks to deliver our service."

Bozich contended that service providers spending a lot of money to build their own Ethernet infrastructures have a responsibility to gain a return on those investments that ultimately challenges their ability to meet the price point dictated by the market.

Qwest offers Ethernet speeds ranging from 5 Mbps to 10 Gbps for all sizes of customers, and Bozich said more customers are now relying on Ethernet for all their communications, even voice.

"We don't even call it VoIP," Bozich said. "We sell it to them as part of an affordable managed service package, and that's what they want."

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