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Ethernet services

CENX Connects With Cable Player

Optimum Lightpath , the enterprise services arm of Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), has become the first firm with cable ties to sign up with CENX Inc. , the Carrier Ethernet peering firm exchange that opened for business late last year. (See Ethernet Gets a CENX View and CENX Adds MSO Muscle.)



Optimum Lightpath, which migrated to Carrier Ethernet about five years ago, is linking up with CENX initially at its New York exchange, where the Cablevision unit originates most of its business. CENX also has exchange services running in Los Angeles, Chicago, and London, with other markets in the pipeline.

Optimum Lightpath already manages connections outside its traditional footprint in NYC, but CENX's peering system offers a much more efficient way to knit together those various end-points, notes company SVP of technical operations Chris Rabii. CENX "gives us a great way to accomplish this," he says.

Before exchanges such as CENX came on the scene, Optimum Lightpath, like others, had to make those connections the relatively old fashioned way -- by leasing circuits from other carriers and forging the connection itself on a case-by-case basis. "That [virtual circuit approach] generally works fairly well," Rabii says. "But it's not particularly efficient."

Optimum Lightpath isn't saying which customers it's linking to CENX, but the company does have several customers that may find that option attractive, particularly some financial industry customers that require out-of-market connections to cities like Chicago and Toronto. "When our customers are ready and have the need, we're ready," says Julia McGrath, SVP of marketing and business development for Optimum Lightpath.

CENX marks the first Ethernet peering exchange deal for Optimum Lightpath, a company that operates fiber networks connecting more than 4,000 buildings. But will it sign similar deals with CENX rivals such as Telx Group Inc. or Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX)? Stay tuned.

"We're certainly plugged in, at least figuratively speaking, to all of the exchanges," Rabii says. "When the time is right, we'll jump in all the places where we need to be."

CENX says it has more than 10 million locations served off its carrier- and location-neutral Carrier Ethernet exchanges. Although AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) remains on the sidelines, several large carriers and network operators have already hooked into the exchange, including Verizon Enterprise Solutions , Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT), XO Communications Inc. , and Covad Communications Inc. (See Verizon Boosts Biz With CENX Connection and CENX Signs Up Covad.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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