November 19, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC -- Global Ethernet Networking 2014 (GEN14) -- Forget TV Everywhere; Comcast is aiming at Ethernet Everywhere.
The largest cable company in the US is readying a new Ethernet @Home service that will extend Ethernet connectivity from office locations to teleworkers at home. The service isn't set to launch until next month, but Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) let the cat out of the bag early when it submitted an application for an award with the MEF .
The MEF announced the winners of this year's competition at a ceremony last night as part of the Global Ethernet Networking 2014 (GEN14) event. Comcast picked up a prize for Ethernet @Home based on an implementation of the service with a healthcare facility.
Details on Ethernet @Home are still limited, but Senior Director of Product Management for Comcast Business Scott Cassell revealed in a panel discussion at GEN14 that the service was first introduced to customers back in July. Further research reveals that at least one partner, Teltek, has been promoting the service to businesses since this summer in Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
According to Cassell, Ethernet @Home extends secure network connectivity to employees working from home. It's not a residential offering, but it does make use of the residential connections that Comcast has in place all around the country thanks to its substantial hybrid fiber/coax network. In a healthcare environment, this would allow a hospital to expand beyond multi-point Ethernet connectivity on a campus to deliver secure Ethernet connections that reach all the way to a physician's home. Cassell described the effort as "taking Ethernet services where they've never been before."
Want to know more about Ethernet services? Check out our dedicated Ethernet content channel here on Light Reading. Cassell also emphasized the possibility of delivering Ethernet services beyond Comcast's existing residential footprint. Noting that "many businesses throughout North America, and for that matter around the world, are still left hungry for Ethernet connectivity," Cassell declared that Comcast is committed to delivering Ethernet services to everyone, everywhere. "It's not just about delivering these services in the metro [area]… but enabling them across the region and across the continent and, as we progress, maybe even beyond," said Cassell. To deliver Ethernet services outside of its footprint, Comcast would have to partner with other network providers. However, it's worth noting that Comcast will also expand its existing footprint dramatically if the company's merger with Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) is approved. News of Comcast's new Ethernet @Home service comes as the company also announced that it's extending its full portfolio of Ethernet services to Albuquerque and Santa Fe in 2015, with network speeds of up to 10 Gbit/s. Currently the company delivers Ethernet services across 39 states and Washington, DC, including 20 of the top 25 US markets. (See also Comcast, Level 3 Flex Ethernet Muscles.) — Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading
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