Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cox drive cable MSO Ethernet trend, says VSG

Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) continues to remain the top cable MSO providing Ethernet services to small to medium business (SMB) and large business customers, according to Vertical Systems Group's 2014 Cable MSO Ethernet Leaderboard.

Even as it moves through the process of being acquired by fellow MSO Comcast, the service provider continues to enhance its Ethernet portfolio. In September, it introduced a customer management portal, new speed tiers and managed Ethernet services.

It also enhanced its customer reach by leveraging a mix of its own backbone network facilities and those from other providers to serve locations outside of its on-net footprint with a single bill. Time Warner Cable Business Class (TWCBC) said that it has established 130 External Network-to-Network Interface (E-NNI) agreements with 25 other service providers.

However, much like Level 3's acquisition of tw telecom, the impending deal with Comcast could potentially shake up the ranking of the Ethernet market.

For its part, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) has been aggressively expanding its Ethernet footprint. In what is a direct effort to become a bigger threat to local incumbent telco FairPoint, the MSO announced earlier this month that it expanded its Ethernet service suite to more businesses in three New Hampshire and Vermont communities. Earlier, the service provider completed an extension of its fiber-based Ethernet services throughout five communities in Vermont's Bennington County.

Joining Time Warner Cable and Comcast on the top five players of VSG's Cable MSO Leaderboard are Cox, Charter and Lightpath.

While cable operators as a group may lack the same capabilities to serve multinational corporation customers of large incumbent telcos like AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ), Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group, said it is the fastest growing segment in the Ethernet market.

"The Cable MSO segment remained the fastest growing overall in 2014, garnering growth that considerably outpaced the Incumbent Carrier and Competitive Provider segments," Malone said in a release. "Already established in metro markets, leading cable companies are fortifying their Ethernet offerings to meet the needs of larger businesses with regional and nationwide networks."

Other Cable MSOs that are making inroads in the Ethernet market in alphabetical order include: Bright House Networks, Consolidated Communications, RCN Business, SuddenLink and WOW! Business.

For more:
- see the release

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