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Ethernet services

Predictable Broadband

5:00 PM -- Optimum Lightpath , the fiber-centric, big business services arm of Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), is wielding a new weapon in its fight with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) for commercial customers in the New York metro: a Virtual Private Ring Service (VPRS). Simplified, that means three or more business locations can be hooked into a common, dedicated Metro Ethernet network. But it also means that the locations hanging off that VPRS can slice and dice heaping helpings of bandwidth as they see fit, but pay for it all under one flat rate. (See Optimum Lightpath Goes Virtual.) Customers need at least three buildings to qualify for the VPRS. At this point, Optimum Lightpath has not identified a maximum. "Those are good problems to have," says Glenn Calafati, Optimum Lightpath's director of product development. Optimum Lightpath offers three different VPRS service tiers: 500 Mbit/s, 1000 Mbit/s, and 10 Gbit/s. The company isn't disclosing prices, but each service level runs off of a flat-rate schedule, making it easier for customers to predict costs if they ever need to add a building to the VPRS or upgrade speeds, Calafati points out. He predictably believes the new service will be a "big hit" with commercial customers that need to support multiple buildings, but at this point he can't identify any takers for the new option. However, the product was developed on customized configurations created for existing Optimum Lightpath customers, Calafati claims. Optimum Lightpath said good-bye to TDM and hello to Metro Ethernet for good in early 2005. Today the division has fiber connected to more than 3,500 buildings. — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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