Optimum Lightpath Turns on 40G in NYC

Cablevision Systems Corp.’s Optimum Lightpath unit is beginning to pitch a 40-gigabit optical transport service to businesses in the New York metropolitan area, initially targeting financial institutions that rely on fast Internet connections to conduct trades. (See Optimum Lightpath Intros 40 Gig.)

“Typically, the financial vertical is the first industry that has the financial means and the applications to warrant the use of 40G. I expect that over time other industries will follow as speed in the local networks get higher and higher,” Optimum Lightpath senior vice president of technical operations Christopher Rabii said today.

Optimum Lightpath has wired businesses covering a total of about 3,500 buildings in the New York metro area, many of which rely on multiple 10-gigabit links to run their operations. Those enterprise customers with multiple 10-gig links will be Optimum’s first targets with the new product, Rabii said.

The Cablevision subsidiary focuses mostly on mid-to-large enterprise customers, as noted in our December LRTV interview:

The expansion to 40G services follows a december announcement from Optimum Lightpath and Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA), when the companies said they had built an optical network to deliver high-bandwidth services to businesses in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. (See Optimum Lighpath, Tellabs Team Up.)

Optimum Lightpath’s 40G product will compete with a 40G service that AboveNet Inc. (NYSE: ABVT) markets to businesses in the New York metro area. The company also competes in the enterprise sector with Verizon Enterprise Solutions , AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), and RCN Metro Optical Networks .

Rabii wouldn’t disclose pricing for the 40G transport service, other than noting that it would be comparable to what Optimum Lightpath charges businesses for four 10G links. The company uses flat-rate pricing models, he noted.

No Optimum Lightpath customers have upgraded to 40G yet, but Rabii expects some businesses to make the switch later this year: "I think there are a lot of customers who are in the planning phase of deployment -- at least a subset of our customer base, specifically in the financial vertical."

Rabii believes enterprise customers would want to switch to a 40G service rather than stick with multiple 10G links because a 40G service is more efficient, and reduces the amount of overhead bandwidth used on multiple 10G links.

While Optimum Lightpath is focused on driving sales of the 40G product, Rabii says it will eventually sell 100-Gbit/s services through its partnership with Tellabs. “100-gig is the next stop on the data rate train, for sure,” Rabii said, adding that he expects it will be at least another year or two before there are any "real-world applications" that would demand 100G bandwidth.

— Steve Donohue, Special to Cable Digital News

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