Lightpath Looks for a Turf War
The news comes four months after Lightpath announced it would begin upgrading its network core, which has four primary hubs in the New York metro area, using DWDM gear from Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT). (See Cablevision Unit Deploys Nortel.) With the new equipment in place, Lightpath is offering advanced services such as gigabit metro Ethernet and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), which lets multiple networks based on disparate protocols (such as Frame Relay, ATM, or Ethernet) interconnect and share services.
“The dense-wave gives us more capacity over our existing fiber infrastructure and really enables us to provide those high-bandwidth services like gigabit metro Ethernet anywhere within the footprint,” says Brian Fabiano, senior VP of network services at Lightpath. “We’re going to have a network as technologically advanced as any provider out there, including Verizon.”
Verizon last Wednesday said it had completed deploying a national broadband IP network based on MPLS. Unlike Lightpath’s regional network, Verizon’s network spans the U.S., linking regional networks in 56 markets. New York is one of Verizon’s largest markets and is one of 13 hub locations on the new network’s core. During the next month, Verizon will launch several services on the network, including IP virtual private network, which will provide the foundation for future enterprise VOIP service.
Lightpath, too, plans to launch VOIP on its newly upgraded network. But the CLEC is hoping that its dedicated Gigabit Ethernet service will differentiate it from Verizon. The DWDM technology will allow Lightpath to provide 64 dedicated gigabit Ethernet links. By contrast, a network based on Sonet OC48 technology can provide, at best, two such connections.
“A lot of what’s being done is to increase the operational efficiencies and economic efficiencies of Lightpath’s network,” says David Parks, senior analyst at the Yankee Group. “That’s going to help them be more competitive with someone like Verizon in their market.”
— Justin Hibbard, Senior Editor, Light Reading