Video-On-Demand Carrier Ethernet

We've all heard about using carrier Ethernet technology to support video-on-demand (VOD) services, but have you heard about VOD supporting carrier Ethernet services? You have now.

In February 2007, the savvy marketing folks at Optimum Lightpath – a division of Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) – launched what happens to be one of the coolest ideas yet for promoting next-generation Ethernet services for business users in the New York metro area. The company introduced a special Ethernet services channel (number 660) as part of its Cablevision iO digital cable service that will reach more than 2 million customers, including popcorn-chomping enterprise decision-makers in the wee hours of the morning.

You can check out the VOD channel on the Optimum Lightpath home page. And we're not talking about a short TV ad (although the company has used those too): The VOD channel currently has 45+ minutes worth of interactive content, including educational information about the economic and technical advantages of carrier-class metro Ethernet and Optimum Lightpath's differentiation in a competitive market. Would-be customers can request more information on the operator's services from the convenience of their recliners.

Don't have your cartoon-loving, channel-surfing kids hooked on carrier Ethernet yet? Just wait until they hear about the technology from Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe and MEF president Nan Chen – three-time winner of Light Reading's prestigious Leading Lights award for Marketing. They both make cameo appearances. In a week or so, those kids are sure to be clamoring for a Nan Chen action figure.

Heavy Reading named Optimum Lightpath as a finalist for our Ethernet Service Provider of the Year Award for Innovation in 2006, based on its innovative services and marketing strategies; clearly the company continues to deliver in this department in 2007. Senior VP of marketing Kevin Curran and senior VP of network services Brian Fabiano have helped pull together a team there that lives and breathes Ethernet. They are making it easy as pie for customers to learn about and purchase services based on the technology.

The first North American MSO to receive MEF services certification, Optimum Lightpath has made the boldest step yet of any established operator in totally shifting from legacy to Ethernet services. While the operator's total sales grew 8 percent year-over-year in 2006, its Ethernet services revenues grew substantially faster, helping to offset a decline in its legacy business. Prospects look strong for 2007 as well, due to rising demand from multiple industry verticals for high-performance Ethernet services.

On the network front, Optimum Lightpath has transitioned from traditional Sonet gear to carrier Ethernet switch/routers – the emerging technology of choice for supporting high-performance Ethernet services. Optimum Lightpath owns and operates more than 2,700 route miles of fiber in the New York metro area and is able to deliver services over fiber to more than 2,000 on-net buildings.

— Stan Hubbard, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

For more on this topic, check out Heavy Reading's Carrier Ethernet Switch/Router Quarterly Market Tracker. A new edition of this special tracking service, written by Stan Hubbard, is available now.

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