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Ethernet services

Access Is Fiber-Starved

Ethernet services are on the upswing, but sales are hindered in part by the lack of necessary fiber connections, according to a recent report from Vertical Systems Group.

U.S. sales of carrier-based offerings that use native Ethernet ports as the customer premises interface will grow from about $393 million in 2003 to $1.3 billion by 2007, the firm estimates. That's a cumulative total of $4.2 billion in total U.S. revenues.

Within the same timeframe, though, private lines, frame relay, and ATM services -- the legacy services Ethernet is supposed to supplant -- will reach a cumulative U.S. total of $170 billion, Vertical estimates.

Why will volumes be so low for Ethernet services, despite growth predictions? Lack of fiber, Vertical says. "Enterprise network managers are enticed by the simplicity and cost effectiveness of Ethernet, but they can't order native Ethernet service connections if there isn't fiber access to the door," says Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems, in a prepared statement.

According to Vertical's figures, just 10.2 percent of U.S. buildings housing 20 or more employees are linked with the fiber that's needed to provide most Ethernet services. That will represent about 18,000 buildings in the country by the end of the year, the firm estimates.

What about Ethernet over copper? Components and test equipment are being readied for new gear in that department (see Agere Goes Gaga Over Gig-E, Broadcom Tackles 10-Gig Copper, and Gig-E Testers Wear Two Hats). But Vertical's director of research services, Erin Dunne, says it will take some time for products to get firmly entrenched. The firm has factored into its forecast the rise in equipment that's anticipated, however.

Bottom line? Despite optimistic projections, Ethernet services will run an obstacle course stateside until more fiber is installed or technology improves sufficiently to make copper a viable connector for emerging business services.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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materialgirl 12/4/2012 | 11:28:25 PM
re: Access Is Fiber-Starved Does Gb Ethernet over copper matter if it does not go far enough to reach anything useful? 10Gb Ethernet must be worse. Perhaps building owners will start to install fiber to get tenants. They have incentive, as cities like San Francisco face 30%-plus vacancy rates.
mordecai 12/4/2012 | 11:28:24 PM
re: Access Is Fiber-Starved Has anyone studied the effect of FSO on our helpless flying friends like seagulls etc? Is it safe to fly into the beam, or can it blind you?

Is this technology in danger of creating a new cause for greenpeace?

let's just pull fibre. it's greener.
crackbaby 12/4/2012 | 11:28:24 PM
re: Access Is Fiber-Starved Refrshing to see an analyst who has managed to figure out that lack of fiber means lack of optical services. LR seems to give Ethernet cheerleaders like Infonetics, Clavenna and Yankee a lot of coverage but the fact remains that most business access will remain TDM.

el_pulento 12/4/2012 | 11:28:24 PM
re: Access Is Fiber-Starved This is exactly why FSO is so valuable. There is no other cost effective way to provide this connectivity. What this article doesn't say is that the majority (about 80%) of these buildings without connectivity in the metro areas, are within a mile of fiber connectivity. The attenuation over copper will never provide the flexible penetration that FSO facilitates.
crackbaby 12/4/2012 | 11:28:23 PM
re: Access Is Fiber-Starved Sorry, but I just had to get my car washed again due to your flying friends' penchant for bombing my car.

Death to those who lurk above.
crackbaby 12/4/2012 | 11:28:23 PM
re: Access Is Fiber-Starved You still have to deal with trenching costs. The thing to also consider is the type of tenants that a building draws as some are bandwidth users while others simply don't need more than a T-1.
bitsarebits 12/4/2012 | 11:28:19 PM
re: Access Is Fiber-Starved I think there are active researchs in Gigibit Ethernet over twisted pair phone line for short
distance, for example, 500 meter.

Can anyone give some data for this ?
materialgirl 12/4/2012 | 11:28:19 PM
re: Access Is Fiber-Starved If we have sewage, electric and water service everywhere, why can't we pull fiber too? I heard somewhere that you could cheaply blow fiber through a sewage line (although termination might become an issue).
whyiswhy 12/4/2012 | 11:28:15 PM
re: Access Is Fiber-Starved mordecai: The following message may be familiar:

why (the following may be an unfair rant, because I do not know you).....

I think that if you don't understand why optical FDM is completely and utterly the wrong thing to do, then you are an example of why this industry got badly derailed, and why we are struggling now to get back on our collective feet.

(aside--Stephen Alexander of Ciena fame did his post grad work on coherent FSK in mid 80's...and ended up making a bag of cash on plain old ASK, on off keyed transmission---why? because it is the right thing to do...)

Quit peddling bull$$%$ technology and think!


So I and a number of others have been thinking that multimode fiber bandwidth limit is easily solved with FDM analog. And that with it, we can do FTTx with MM fiber, cheap as dirt, up to metro distances, at 10Gig per channel. One CMOS chip does the trick. With a directly modulated VCSEL this chip and some Corning MM fiber, we can do what it takes a EAMDFB to do over SM fiber...at 10% of the cost.

Thanks for the advice. I don't know you either, but I can suggest you try thinking on your end next time before you post.

-Why
lighten up!! 12/4/2012 | 11:28:14 PM
re: Access Is Fiber-Starved Look copper can only go so far, and you can't sell higher speed services without fiber in the ground. Duh!! What are they waiting for???
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