Cable Tech

MegaPath Takes High-Speed Ethernet Nationwide

U.S. competitive services provider MegaPath Inc. is expanding its use of Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN) Ethernet-over-copper gear to create a nationwide Ethernet footprint that will reach 680 Central Offices (COs) by June 2012. (See MegaPath, Adtran Team on Nationwide Ethernet .)

The latest announcement extends the deployment of Adtran's Total Access 5000 access platform that began with Covad Communications, which was merged into MegaPath in 2010. MegaPath has 200 COs that today are equipped with Adtran's technology, which uses VDSL2 copper bonding to deliver up to 400 Mbit/s downstream and 100 Mbit/s symmetrically. According to Pasha Mohammed, director of Product Management, Access Services, Megapath, the carrier will have 400 COs equipped by the end of 2011. (See Covad/MegaPath Will Keep Buying and Covad Picks Adtran For Carrier Ethernet.)

The buildout is based on demand for Ethernet services from business customers not served by fiber optics, and by MegaPath's decision to target new markets such as mobile backhaul, Mohammed says.

"Customers have been requesting higher bandwidth speeds, primarily symmetrical and mostly Ethernet," Mohammed says. "Everyone wanted the features and the attractive pricing that Ethernet offers. This does open up our existing sales channels to new opportunities, where we couldn't compete before."

With LTE looming in the mobile industry, interest in copper Ethernet solutions may grow, suggests Kurt Raaflaub, Adtran's Carrier Ethernet marketing manager, as asymmetrical traffic volumes should grow. That's because the expectation is that LTE customers will be downloading far more videos than they upload.

"What is nice is this solution -- 100 Mbit/s on the upstream and 400 on the downstream -- matches very nicely the demand for mobile backhaul and the typical enterprise traffic," Raaflaub says.

Why this matters
Fiber may be king when it comes to services such as enterprise Ethernet and mobile backhaul, but copper still counts because it's everywhere.

Companies such as MegaPath are still investing in sunk copper plant because it can reach more businesses and more cell towers than fiber. At the same time, vendors such as Adtran continue to develop products that enable greater bandwidth over copper.

For more
Learn more about MegaPath's moves:

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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