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TW Telecom Connects With DPI

NEW YORK -- Ethernet Expo Americas 2009 -- tw telecom inc. (Nasdaq: TWTC) is taking a new approach to the market, stressing the “connected enterprise” and promising to use Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology to enable its customers to better manage their network resources and support diverse applications.

The idea is to compete, not on commoditized access technologies, but on the value delivered, said tw telecom SVP of business development and strategy Michael Rouleau during an interview here at Light Reading's Ethernet Expo.

Beginning in 2010, tw telecom will offer its customers a portal, developed in-house, through which enterprises can determine, not just how their networks are performing, but how specific applications within those networks are performing, and whether more or less bandwidth is needed to support those applications, Rouleau said.

While declining to identify a DPI vendor at this point, Rouleau said the technology would be incorporated in a network service to enable tw telecom and its customers to see exactly what kind of traffic is riding their networks and how they can best enable latency-sensitive applications like telepresence and VoIP to coexist with best-effort data.

“We can go to the enterprise customer and show them how they can connect their main location with their branch offices with a Layer 2 service and a converged infrastructure. When we collapse the parallel networks they have in place today for voice, data, Internet, and video, we can double their bandwidth and save them 20 percent to 30 percent every month.”

That kind of consultative selling plays to tw telecom’s strength in its 500-person direct sales force, Rouleau said. The competitive carrier can match network services to application needs, he added. With DPI and a customer portal, it will be easier to determine exactly what kind of traffic is riding a customer’s network, on a circuit by circuit basis.

”Customers are very focused on budgets these days,” Rouleau said. “If, instead of deploying Ethernet over Sonet, for instance, we can do Ethernet over TDM to a branch office location for less money, we can take advantage of the technology platform that addresses their need for ubiquity at a price they can afford."

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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