Broadwing Broadens VPLS
The bidirectional deal gives each carrier the ability to bring VPLS into another continent.
The partnership started as an extension to HGC's Asian network, which has been carrying services including HGC's and recently got extended into South Korea and Taiwan. A year ago, HGC wanted to connect its VPLS into North America but couldn't find a suitable provider, as VPLS still hasn't been widely deployed here. (See Smaller Carriers Go Big With VPLS.)
Broadwing, meanwhile, has been touting VPLS as a service on its converged network, built around a new MPLS core. Broadwing launched the network early this year with offerings including its . (See Tier 2 Carriers Eat Up Ethernet.)
What's noteworthy about the deal isn't the distance, but the interoperability concerns between the carriers, considering VPLS's youth. "It's not a 10- or 15-year-old, iron-clad technology that's been done a million times," says Jamey Heinz, Broadwing's senior director of data product management. "There are standards, but it takes some consideration to implement."
"What we see with the Broadwing/HGC agreement is really the next step in service evolution -- the ability to extend VPLS-based services across continents not only over different carrier networks but also using platforms from different vendors," writes Heavy Reading analyst Stan Hubbard in an email to Light Reading. "My conversations with carriers suggest this could be an important development to watch for in 2006."
Further extensions might be in the works, as Broadwing is getting interest from potential partners in Canada, company officials say.
While VPLS offerings aren't plentiful yet, Broadwing is far from the only company on the map. Virtela Technology Services Inc. provides VPLS services via its . Other examples include from ntl group ltd. (Nasdaq: NTLI), and from Viatel Holding (Bermuda) Ltd. (OTC: VTLAF).
— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, and Nicole Willing, Reporter, Light Reading
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