As cable companies continue to assert their business services savvy, a key element in that effort is providing Ethernet services. According to Light Reading Insider's latest report Cable Operators & Ethernet: Serious Business, cable MSOs now account for about 20 percent of the U.S. Ethernet services market.
All of the largest cable MSOs have put down business services as a major growth engine for 2010, and there's little doubt that Ethernet will be a part of their retail and even wholesale service offerings. Buoyed by healthcare and wireless backhaul, Cox Business, for instance, believes it will reach its $1 billion revenue mark in 2010. Comcast, while perhaps a bit later to the business services game, is moving to purchase Chicago-based CLEC Cimco. Finally, Charter Communications, fresh out of bankruptcy, says it's getting a lot of requests for wireless backhaul and it plans to ramp up its staff to accommodate that demand.
Steve Koppman, research analyst with Light Reading Insider and author of the report, said that because MSOs don't have to maintain a set of legacy services, they can more easily target business customers with Ethernet services.
"MSOs continue to have specific competitive strengths particularly in their focus on Ethernet as their prime data service (beyond IP), their lack of concern for preserving competing legacy data (private line, frame relay) businesses, their next-generation architectures, combinations of ubiquitous HFC networks with substantial fiber ones, and generally lower overheads than incumbents," he explains.
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