Ethernet services

Rogers Exec: MSOs Can Outdo Telcos in Ethernet

NEW YORK -- The Future of Cable Business Services 2011 -- Cable companies have a major opportunity to win enterprise business away from telcos, but need to interconnect their networks to provide national coverage and deliver higher-quality customer service, Terry Canning, senior vice president of Canada-based Rogers Business Solutions, said here today.

"Telcos were built on five-nines, but they stopped there," Canning said. "We have the opportunity to win huge shares of marketplace if we pursue 100. But we're not there yet."

The need for 100 percent availability is particularly important as more enterprises move critical applications into the cloud and rely on network connections into the cloud for those applications, he added.

Rogers has no trouble finding enterprise customers for its Ethernet over fiber services, he added -- the challenge is getting fiber to businesses. Even there, Canning believes cable has an advantage because its fiber networks were built out into suburban areas to support cable TV, whereas telcos focused their fiber buildouts on metro rings.

Where cable is disadvantaged is in going outside the typical regional footprint of a cable operator to serve national and multinational enterprises, he conceded. Rogers is developing NNIs -- network-to-network interfaces -- to interconnect with other cable operators, but more work is needed to develop a standard product set across the cable industry.

Cable also must overcome its reputation as a "best effort" service provider by delivering higher-quality customer service to its most important customers, Canning said.

On the latter front, Rogers is building a mesh network to reduce points of failure in case of fiber cuts, as well as a business-class network operations center to better manage business customer needs and to enable service portals that let business customers see how their networks are operating.

Rogers is taking advantage of its wireless network to monitor the wired network and to offer some backup services when wired access networks go down, but Canning doesn't see wireless as a major backup option.

To further prevent problems, Canning says Rogers is being more proactive in doing preventative maintenance and is systematic about learning from what goes wrong to avoid repeating mistakes.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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