Is Ethernet Becoming Fiber's Friend?

NEW YORK -- Ethernet Expo -- One of the biggest issues around Ethernet services here is availability. Enterprises and carriers constantly want to know: Where is Ethernet available? And, if it's not available, should you build out fiber to deliver Ethernet services?

Randy Nicklas, Chief Technology Officer at XO Communications Inc. , said on a panel here today that in order to offer Ethernet services everywhere, a carrier must offer a number of different technologies.

"Regrettably, we don't have fiber everywhere. No one does," he said. "Very often fiber doesn't work the entire way, so if someone wants Ethernet reach everywhere, you need to offer a variety of technologies."

One of the ways that XO is expanding its Ethernet reach is its new Ethernet-over-copper service, which is something Nicklas says his company is "spending a lot of money on."

But the Ethernet-over-copper service has its limitations. It only offers 10-Mbit/s bandwidth, whereas fiber theoretically can offer unlimited bandwidth. This is one of the reasons Verizon Enterprise Solutions argued that fiber, in the long run, is really the only way to go.

Carlos Benavides, Group Manager of Product Management for Metro Ethernet Services at Verizon Business, argued that "we've done a lot of different things to address availability. You have to have fiber. There are other ways, but the pervasive way is still fiber."

After the panel discussion, Benavides said: "We do look at non-traditional methods in our non-traditional footprints, but with bandwidth needs, eventually you have to get to fiber. Copper is tough, because, just the amount of bandwidth we're talking, it's almost to the point where fiber is a necessity."

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:00:44 PM
re: Is Ethernet Becoming Fiber's Friend? XO is big on the Ethernet-over-copper idea. They claim to have the biggest Ethernet-over-copper network in North America.

A bit more here (about XO and Hatteras, from April):

They're talking about offering service at distances up to 9,000 feet (can they really get a full 10-meg out that far?) and extending that to 12,000 feet soon.
American Indian 12/5/2012 | 3:00:42 PM
re: Is Ethernet Becoming Fiber's Friend?

Ethernet over copper is pouring good money after bad.

Now that the ILECs have legally taken away UNE-P and able to up prices on UNE-L's; forbearance driving up the prices for special access and EEL's; and they don't have to open up their fiber ... why would anyone in their right mind continue to do business and rely upon the ILEC? Is the telco world full of Forrest Gumps?

Think about it. The inevitable will happen and no lawyer can do a dam thing about it. If copper on its best day can move 10 meg, what is a non-ILEC going to do when the ILEC drops GPON into a building and starts the bandwidth war at 100 meg? That's right, the copper loving heroes will die. This is INEVITABLE. So - STOP funding the ILEC by renting from them. And stop whining to the FCC or Congress.

WiMax is not the savior either. Also, missing from the article -- you can't bond copper pair for Ethernet unless the copper pairs already exist. ILECs will NOT build out more copper pairs for the benefit of the non-ILEC. Moreover, when the ILEC fibers in to a building, they remove any copper that is not in use -- and it is not illegal. They just file a notice with the FCC on decommissioning.

What to do? Non-ILECs should find local fiber owners, and every market has them ... and figure out how to do business ... lease fiber, by capacity, revenue share ... do anything but fund the ILEC by paying a 100% margin on their legacy copper facilities.
Sign In