Windstream hits new wholesale note with carrier switched Ethernet product

Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN) has answered the call from its wholesale customers for more flexible bandwidth options with its latest Carrier Switched Ethernet offering.

Targeting both its wireline and wireless operator customers, the new service will provide customers access to its Ethernet service within its ILEC footprint through an External-Network to Network Interconnection (E-NNI) agreement.

A wireline wholesale customer could use Windstream's service to fulfill a multisite location request that requires them to provide a solution in areas where they may have not built out their network yet, for example.

Service provider customers will be able to access the new Ethernet service at 980 exchanges in Windstream's ILEC network. It will provide a host of interconnect ports of 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps with support for user loops from 3 Mbps to 1 Gbps.  

Mike Shippey, SVP Carrier Services at Windstream, told FierceTelecom during an interview at this year's COMPTEL PLUS show in San Francisco that the new service is in response to the growing demand from a number of its CLEC and ILEC wholesale customers.

"One of the exciting things we have going on in wholesale is our newly launched switched Ethernet service, which will be available in 90 percent, or 980 of our COs," he said. "It will really give people the opportunity to pick up some of the customers in our native ILEC territories where a carrier may have multi-location businesses."  

He added that the Switched Ethernet product is just the beginning of a broader effort that will serve not only its ILEC, but also its CLEC territories gained through its acquisitions of PAETEC and NuVox.  

"We view it as a smaller entry point into a larger product, which will cover our entire footprint," Shippey said. "We have all of these CLEC properties that we hope to integrate into one and hope to serve our ILEC areas off a common NNI connectivity."

As for the rest of 2012, the focus in Windstream's wholesale group will be on solidifying the transport offering and launching the Carrier Switched Ethernet service and grow that business.

Shippey believes that the new Switched Ethernet offering is centered on enabling other service providers the ability to offer a more consistent experience for their end-users.

"For the last year, in every meeting I sit in on, everyone wants that product in our ILEC territories," Shippey said. "They're looking to give an end-to-end solution to their end-users and our ability to set up an NNI and offer a Switched Ethernet product that they are offering the other locations for that same customer will give them a more seamless product offering."

For more:
- see the release

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