Ethernet services

Ethernet Expo II

6:00 PM -- Still in New York, at the Light Reading Ethernet Expo. Day 2 is still busy. Some quick-hit notes:

  • Ethernet is still hard to get, even if you're AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). In a very well received keynote this morning, Richard Klapman, the carrier's product director for U.S. Ethernet services, noted that his group has 15 relationships with other Ethernet carriers, deals where AT&T can traverse another's network to complete Ethernet connections. That's compared with 400 suppliers he's got on the TDM side, which has admittedly been around longer. One problem: Ethernet pricing takes a long time to get from some carriers, and the price AT&T has to pay is still "too high" compared with what AT&T's end customers are demanding.

  • Provider Backbone Transport (PBT), the carrier Ethernet variant championed by Nortel Networks Ltd. , is getting picked at by competitors. Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) director of product line management Jim Capobianco gave a presentation advocating a Layer 3 control plane (IP/MPLS) for carrier Ethernet, rather than a modified Layer 2 option (like PBT), which, he asserted, might not scale. There's some talk that PBT, with a GMPLS control plane, might work as an option. Haven't gotten a chance to talk with Nortel's John Hawkins about that. (See BT Rethinks 21CN Core Strategy and Nortel's PBT Debuts in China.)

  • Every type of DSL seems to have a supporter when it comes to Ethernet-over-copper. (Well, not ADSL -- carriers don't want asymmetric transport.) On one panel, Hatteras Networks Inc. -- which claims its gear is agnostic to Layer 1 and doesn't have a horse in this race -- noted G.shdsl was already picked for copper transport in IEEE 802.3ah. Aktino Inc. notes that DMT has won similar RBOC battles before (VDSL2 is DMT-based). And Overture Networks Inc. , apparently wanting to cause trouble, voted for HDSL, saying it's already got a huge telco following. Gee, that cleared things up.

  • Is every Manhattan Starbucks this slow? There are two of them here -- one in the Hilton that's housing the Expo, one across the street. Both are a constant clot of traffic. Maybe it's just the volume of caffeine fiends in New York...

    — Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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