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American Ethernet bandwidth now greater than legacy bandwidth

By Max Burkhalter
August 9, 2011
According to a report by Ethernet Academy, pushed by more demand for higher speed network services, the total amount of Ethernet bandwidth bought by enterprises in the United States has outpaced the aggregate bandwidth for legacy circuits, says new research from Vertical Systems Group.

This year marks the turning point of a quick growth in the installation of Ethernet connections with access rates ranging up to 10+ Gbps. Forecasting out to 2015, Ethernet bandwidth is expected to more than double, according to Vertical’s latest study of enterprise requirements. Service technologies include a variety of segments such as Ethernet, frame relay, ATM, TDM, private lines, and broadband services for businesses.

"Boosted by a 10x surge in the past five years, Ethernet bandwidth has overtaken legacy bandwidth in the U.S. market," said director of research services at Vertical Systems Group Erin Dunne. "This milestone fittingly coincides with the ten year anniversary of the MEF an organization that has successfully fostered the deployment of carrier-class Ethernet services throughout the world."

The MEF is a worldwide industry alliance made up of over 180 organizations including network equipment/software manufacturers, cable MSOs, telecommunications service providers, semiconductors vendors and testing organizations. The MEF’s mission is to rapidly grow the global deployment of Carrier-class Ethernet networks and services. The organization creates specifications and implementation agreements for Carrier Ethernet in order to advance interoperability and adoption of Carrier Ethernet all over the world.

Another report by Ethernet Academy states that interconnections have always been a primary focal point for data centers housed in locations with high numbers of network service providers. A number of these data center providers are currently adopting focused exchanges to support Carrier Ethernet services.

The report says that the MEF’s official definition of an Ethernet Exchange, a type of External Network-Network Interface, is “an interconnect point among service providers where Carrier Ethernet Services are exchanged.” From an end user’s perspective, a company wants its service provider to offer this service so that it can have a direct Ethernet connection from one end to the other.

The report adds that, currently, most companies are continuing to encapsulate their internal Ethernet data into TDM/SONET/SDH then de-encapsulating it at the other end. Still, a growing number of end users are appreciating the benefits of Ethernet services and it is possible that eventually, the entire public network may be running native Ethernet.


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