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Optical/IP

Lightpath Looks for a Turf War

Like Tony Soprano on a tear, New York CLEC Lightpath today came out with both guns blazing in response to the Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) announcement last Wednesday that it had completed its new national broadband network. Lightpath, a wholly owned division of Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), said it has finished converting its core network from Sonet to dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) infrastructure.

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

5514DD 12/5/2012 | 2:00:24 AM
re: Lightpath Looks for a Turf War I'm a little confused... Lightpath has a better network because they have DWDM vs. Verizon's fiber? Sounds like just one more component to break...
opto 12/5/2012 | 2:00:01 AM
re: Lightpath Looks for a Turf War I would like to nominate this post for the "most inane post of all time" competition.
5514DD 12/5/2012 | 2:00:00 AM
re: Lightpath Looks for a Turf War And why is that? I understand all of the "service velocity" etc. implications of deploying Metro DWDM. But as far as I can tell it is still just a way to expand the capacity of your existing fiber. What about their deployment DWDM makes Lightpath so special? Please, help me understand?

What I don't understand is why Cablevision is championing it as the crown jewel in this new network. If I'm a customer, I could care less whether you have a pure SONET or Ethernet over dark fiber, or over wavelength backbone. What's so special about the fact that Lightpath is using DWDM? How does it differentiate them?

I do believe Verizon also uses other vendors as well as Nortel's metro equipment.
jim_smith 12/5/2012 | 1:59:57 AM
re: Lightpath Looks for a Turf War What about their deployment DWDM makes Lightpath so special? Please, help me understand?

He cannot make you understand, because there is nothing to understand. Lightpath is simply using the old telco-bubble idiotic marketing hype.

If Lightpath truly believes that a DWDM infrastructure is going to give them an edge, then they are in trouble, big time.

Lightpath won't make a dent in Verizon's core business. Verizon's big customers need a service provider that has a nationwide footprint - not a mom and pop service provider in downtown manhattan.

Don't get me wrong: I really want new service providers like Lightpath to kick Verizon's butt. That is the only way to evolve these dinosaurs.
LambdaGeek 12/5/2012 | 1:59:57 AM
re: Lightpath Looks for a Turf War What makes light path so special????the only Carrier that I know of that is taking core business and very big name clients away from VZ is Con Edison, it is not due to their Layer 1 or 2 infrastructure, just simple diversity.....thats what sells.
5514DD 12/5/2012 | 1:59:54 AM
re: Lightpath Looks for a Turf War He cannot make you understand, because there is nothing to understand. Lightpath is simply using the old telco-bubble idiotic marketing hype.

If Lightpath truly believes that a DWDM infrastructure is going to give them an edge, then they are in trouble, big time.


Exactly. Thank you for your reply. This what I was trying to point out with my original post. So I assume you're not seconding my nomination?

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