Light Reading

TWC Sees Competitive Edge in CE 2.0

Dan O'Shea
2/7/2014
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It looks as if we picked the right time to raise the topic of Carrier Ethernet 2.0 certification.

Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) Business Class earlier this week became the first Ethernet service provider in North America to achieve certification for all six of the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) 's Carrier Ethernet 2.0 business service classes, a development that further shows how cable TV network operators -- not telcos -- are the ones pushing the Ethernet envelope in the competitive business market.

The distinction, along with the fact that TWC has 24 Carrier Ethernet 2.0 Certified Professionals on its team, gives a cable operator that is under pressure on other market fronts, such as its traditional video sector, a competitive edge in the Ethernet services market. (See TWC: How the Mighty Have Fallen .)

Several other North American providers, including AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), tw telecom inc. (Nasdaq: TWTC), Lumos Networks, Fibertech Networks LLC , and others, have achieved CE 2.0 certification on at least one service, but there are only two other Ethernet service providers in the world that have achieved certification for all six retail business service classes -- Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk. (Telkom) , according to Daniel Bar-Lev, director of certification and strategic programs for the MEF.

If some in the industry question the value of CE 2.0 in today's market, when the need to address multiple classes of service may not yet be so keenly felt, TWC is not among them. In an email to Light Reading, Satya Parimi, group vice president of product management at TWC, says:

    CE 2.0 is absolutely a competitive differentiation. Mid-market and enterprise customers with complex networking needs are looking for standards-compliant services, and the CE 2.0 certification is very important to meet their expectations. We have seen a material impact on our Ethernet sales performance when we announced our MEF 1.0 certification, and we expect the same with CE 2.0. We expect to see MEF CE 2.0 certification come up more prominently in RFP requests and in requests from our carrier partners for wholesale services.

The TWC news follows recent CE 2.0-related vendor announcements from ADVA and Calix. All this activity suggests we picked the right time to ask if 2014 will be the year of CE 2.0. (See ADVA Launches CE 2.0 Professional Services, Calix Pushing CE 2.0 Solutions, and Is 2014 the Year of Carrier Ethernet 2.0?)

Since then, the Metro Ethernet Forum insisted that the CE 2.0 certification pipeline has been filling up, suggesting more CE 2.0 carrier announcements could be imminent. In any case, TWC has officially thrown the gauntlet down for the rest of North America. (See MEF: CE 2.0 Certification Pipeline Filling Up.)

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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DOShea
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DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
2/28/2014 | 10:49:35 AM
But, wait, there's more...
TWC just announced this week that it has addedd CE 2.0 certification for the two wholesale transport service types, so it now has the complete set of CE 2.0 certifications: http://www.lightreading.com/cable-video/cable-business-services/-time-warner-cable-business-class-earns-all-8-mef-ce-20-certifications/d/d-id/708011
TaraSeals
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TaraSeals,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/11/2014 | 1:56:59 PM
Re: Swapping specialities
Yeah, it's strange-- you never hear Verizon or AT&T screaming bloody murder about retrans fees. Largely have kept out of the blackout spats. Makes me wonder. 

But yes, totally agree--broadband (and video is moving to IP distribution anyway after all) and business services are the revenue generators of the future. Well, and niche applications like mobile backhaul I think. Telcos need to consider things more strategically but I can't help thinking that 4G somehow has a lot to do with their decisions here.
TaraSeals
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TaraSeals,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/11/2014 | 1:53:48 PM
Re: Competitors
Isn't it also the ability to give enhanced SLAs too across Ethernet's shared infrastructure? Or no?
DOShea
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DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
2/10/2014 | 10:23:01 PM
Re: Competitors
I think it would be nice to see some research that shows what current business customers of CE 2.0 would say about that, but in theory the value is in the classes of service, but also things like having standardized performance objectives for all different types of applications, and--again in theory--overall better quality of service.
DOShea
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DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
2/10/2014 | 10:09:50 PM
Re: Swapping specialities
...and considering that swap, which one would you rather be? The telcos are doing great in video, but they are getting into a market getting increasingly squeezed by retransmission fees, and where the broadcasters are really kings of the mountain. The cable guys might be doing great in a residential voice telephony market that no one cares about, but the business data market has plenty to offer without the video markets trappings.
TaraSeals
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TaraSeals,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/10/2014 | 4:33:11 PM
Swapping specialities
"Cable TV network operators -- not telcos -- are the ones pushing the Ethernet envelope in the competitive business market."

Well they kind of have to, in a way-- with the ongoing bleeding of video subs (TWC certainly shows no signs of turning that around), no wireless play and voice being kind of a wash of a game, it comes down to business services and broadband. I think it's kind of funny how telcos are kind of ahead of MSOs now when it comes to deploying innovative video services (Comcast being an exception) and it's the opposite for data. They're placing their strategic bets in each other's traditionally incumbent sandboxes.
Carol Wilson
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Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
2/10/2014 | 3:41:25 PM
Re: Competitors
It's still not entirely clear to me what businesses value most about CE 2.0 - is it the classes of service?
DOShea
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DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
2/7/2014 | 7:27:56 PM
Competitors
Will this drive competitors in the TWCBC markets to getb going on CE 2.0?
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