WOW! plans to offer Ethernet over HFC to retail customers, offer tighter SLAs

WOW! may be an advocate of fiber-based solutions for its business and wholesale customer base, but the service provider continues to find ways to leverage its existing coax network to deliver new data solutions.

As part of that vision, the service provider is in the process of developing an Ethernet over Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) product that will offer retail and wholesale customers a set of SLAs.

The service provider recently introduced a best effort Ethernet over HFC wholesale service to customers in its network area. It launched that service to target service provider customers that need to fulfill connections for multisite off-net business customers. It can also be used to fulfill branch, remote offices and even small to medium sized businesses within a metro area.

Stephen Poteat, director of product development of data services for WOW! told FierceTelecom that while it could not provide a specific timeline for the next stage of its EoHFC effort, it is part of its overall strategy.

"We have plans to evolve the product set beyond wholesale to retail, but then to also to offer more stringent SLAs as we work through architectures and do more testing with our hardware vendors," Poteat said. "We'll start looking at reserving bandwidth so we can actually provide stringent SLAs."

Poteat added that "my goal is to get this Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF)-compliant as possible at some point in the future."

WOW! has already built a foundation to deliver stringent SLAs when it's ready. The current EoHFC wholesale offering leverages an Accedian network interface device (NID) that resides at its own central office hub location to terminate the service.

"That NID becomes a demarcation point for us that allows us to do performance monitoring and service activation testing," Poteat said.

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