Reaching Network Nirvana Through Fiber & Ethernet

Check out Reaching Network Nirvana Through Fiber & Ethernet on GigaOm for a look at the emerging rebuilding of the middle mile. Here’s a teaser:

A new telecom infrastructure is emerging out of the disruption of old-style, twisted copper, public switched, telephone network-based business. It’s based on Ethernet and is cheaper, more flexible and performs better than its legacy copper counterpart, and it all began with cable. As cable companies destroyed the market for multiple phone lines into a residence by providing Internet access and voice services over a Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) network, a new market opportunity arose.

The multi-strand fiber deployed to enable this new capability for the HFC plant was also used to create a new class of physical network provider: the fiber-based Metro Ethernet (MetroE) company. These providers are different from the long-haul fiber firms that went under in the early 90s. They are generally located in an area of a few thousand square miles where their focus is grabbing business from enterprises that would be buying large quantities of telecom initially offered by old-school telcos like T-1s, Frame Relay and in some cases SONET-based fiber products. Many are separate business entities from the cable providers they were spawned from, but share the same bundles of fiber their cable company parents use to provide residential and small business triple-play service. You can call it “Fiber to the Enterprise.” These MetroE providers generally charge less than telcos for the same services.

Read the whole thing.