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Ethernet services

Q&A: Optimum Lightpath

7:00 AM -- Prior to Ethernet Expo Americas 2009, I had the chance to hear a perspective on the future of Ethernet services from Dave Pistacchio, president of Optimum Lightpath .

Dave’s company has been a leader in carrier Ethernet business solutions since 2005 and has one of the largest metro Ethernet network footprints of any provider in the New York metropolitan area -- extending more than 3,700 route miles and connecting more than 3,500 buildings. For 20 years, Optimum Lightpath has provided data, Internet, voice, and video transport solutions and managed services for mid-sized and large businesses across the NY metro area. In recent years, Optimum Lightpath has received both Heavy Reading and MEF awards for Ethernet service innovation.

Below are highlights from the interview with Dave.

Heavy Reading: How did Optimum Lightpath get into Ethernet?

Dave Pistacchio: We knew that businesses needed a sophisticated communications network, dedicated to their evolving needs and the demands of their customers in a 24/7, always-on business world. That's why nearly five years ago, Optimum Lightpath decided to switch its entire offering to metro Ethernet services, delivered over our fully fiber optic Smart Business Network. This game changing move has resulted in the birth of what we call the “Smart Community” -- a growing population of businesses who use Ethernet-based communications solutions to work smarter, faster, and better, every day.

HR: For reliable business communications, we know that Ethernet technology is becoming increasingly unmatched in terms of price and performance. And for some businesses, downtime is not an option. Can you offer some examples of customer experiences with Ethernet’s reliability and performance?

DP: Absolutely. Certain businesses cannot survive without communications. Think about hospitals. If their network goes down their patient data may be inaccessible to physicians and specialists providing urgent care. It impacts people’s lives. And we understand this very well -- working with more than 70% of the hospitals in the NY Metropolitan area and nearly 100% in Long Island, NY. They choose Ethernet for its speed, reliability, and resiliency. As hospitals become more sophisticated, supporting solutions that rely on high-availability communications like tele-radiology via PC and mobile phone, conducting patient rounds using video conferencing, and sharing hundreds of bandwidth-intensive images in minutes instead of hours, they look to Ethernet to bring them the fastest, most reliable, and cost-effective solution. As one of our “Smart Hospital” executives said: “Speed is Life” and always-on communications is business critical.

HR: What businesses are the best candidates for Ethernet-based services?

DP: Any business that cares about improving and simplifying business processes, improving customer service, and controlling costs should consider moving to Ethernet-based solutions. We’ve seen particular interest from the education, healthcare, government, and financial services sectors where, in some cases, budgets are tight. There’s a need to be cost-conscious while endeavoring to transform the way they do business -- in the classroom, in the ER, in the community, and on the trading floor. It’s about the priorities of our “Smart Business” customers -- not about us.

HR: Does Optimum Lightpath have a special offering for a particular industry vertical?

DP: Yes. In May 2009, we launched our first vertical market solution, dedicated to the healthcare industry, with GetWellNetwork, called the Interactive Patient Care service (IPC). This technology solution transforms hospital in-room televisions into a valuable, interactive experience for users, enabling patients to learn more about their condition, connect with family, and interact with caregivers using their bedside TV. This is Optimum Lightpath’s first vertical application, designed to align with healthcare provider priorities and requirements. Based on feedback from our “Smart Business” customers, we may offer additional strategic communications solutions in the future.

HR: What can we expect from Ethernet in 2010 and beyond?

DP: Businesses with three or more locations will continue to seek high-availability, ultra-low latency communications services -- for data, Internet, and video solutions. We will continue to see large businesses invest in Ethernet-based Virtual Private Ring Service (VPRS), especially financial service companies and those firms that require increased speed and security. With stimulus support in the education and healthcare sectors, we’ll continue to see innovation in schools and patient care, requiring high-speed, cost-effective strategies to support solutions like Smart Boards, distance learning, remote patient care, telemedicine, and many other innovations. As government municipalities endeavor to upgrade their legacy systems to improve communications, they will continue to look to Ethernet as a community-wide initiative that improves the way they connect to schools, hospitals, area businesses, and the community. Lastly, in 2010 and beyond, as the “Smart Community” of businesses continues to expand, we will continue to see savvy CIOs and CTOs who demand more for less -- more bandwidth, more reliability, more speed, better service and a local, human touch element that is unique, transforming the service provider relationship into a strategic business partnership.

HR: Thanks, Dave. We look forward to having your SVP of Technical Operations, Chris Rabii, speak at Ethernet Expo, and I looking forward to hearing more from Optimum Lightpath.

— Stan “EtherMan” Hubbard, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading


Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Ethernet Expo Americas 2009, Light Reading’s ninth conference and exposition covering the hot topic of Carrier Ethernet network technologies and services in North America. To be staged in New York, November 3 & 4, admission is free for attendees meeting our prequalification criteria. For more information, or to register, click here.


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