USCarrier plans first regional Ethernet exchange
Interconnection agreements with Telx and Neutral Tandem are part of the wholesale operator's strategy
USCarrier Telecom, a wholesale carrier operating in the southeastern U.S., announced plans today for an Ethernet exchange throughout its footprint. But the company’s model is a bit different from those of other companies that have entered the Ethernet exchange market, such as Telx, Neutral Tandem, CENX and Equinix.
While some other Ethernet exchange operators are using routers to interconnect carriers, USCarrier Telecom’s plan is to use the Cyan Z-Series packet optical transport platform for interconnection. Ultimately the company plans to interconnect 18 points of presence in its footprint using the Cyan platform, beginning with nine POPs that will roll out in June.
An important aspect of the Cyan equipment is its ability to use connection-oriented Ethernet from one switch to another, said Jack Roberts, vice president of sales for USCarrier, in an interview. Using that platform, USCarrier plans to use Cyan’s multi-layer management system to establish VLANs across pre-provisioned pipes to interconnect carriers.
Some of USCarrier’s POPs are in major carrier hotels, and there the company plans to connect with two other Ethernet exchange operators—Neutral Tandem and Telx. The net result is that any network operator connected to any Neutral Tandem, Telx or USCarrier exchange point will have the ability to interconnect with any carrier connected to any other Neutral Tandem, Telx or USCarrier exchange point.
To date most carrier Ethernet exchange points have been located in major metro markets—and the new arrangement that USCarrier has established with Neutral Tandem could be viewed as a model of how nationwide- and worldwide-focused Ethernet exchange operators can reach smaller markets such as Athens, Georgia.
Self-service portal not part of plan
Unlike the nationwide- and worldwide-focused Ethernet exchange operators, USCarrier is not developing a portal that carrier customers could use to type in the address of an individual building to learn which carriers serve that building. Robert said USCarrier has the ability to reach just about any building in its footprint because among the numerous carriers with which the company has already connected are various incumbents that serve the region. As for buildings outside USCarrier’s serving area, Roberts said carriers could use Telx or Neutral Tandem portals to find out about connectivity options.
USCarrier’s business model also is different from some other Ethernet exchange operators in that the two carriers at opposite ends of the connection will not have a business relationship with one another. Instead, carriers outside USCarrier’s region will work directly with USCarrier and USCarrier will manage the relationship with the in-territory carrier.
Roberts said USCarrier may consider establishing relationships with other nationwide carrier Ethernet exchange operators similar to what the company has established with Telx and Neutral Tandem.
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