U.S. Ethernet Adoption Soaring, IDC Says

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Adoption rates for Ethernet services in the United States are soaring, driving revenue from $5.2 billion in 2012 to $9.2 billion in 2016, according to new research from IDC.

High-bandwidth applications such as data-center connectivity, disaster recovery/business continuity, and data storage replication are the three primary applications driving Ethernet adoption, the research firm said.

"Enterprises are increasingly utilizing 100MB, gigabit and even 10 gigabit Ethernet services for domestic and international WAN networking," said Nav Chander, research manager, Enterprise Communication Services for IDC. "We are seeing a lot more medium-size U.S. enterprises adopt Ethernet with more fiber availability, more service competition and faster time-to-service compared to alternatives."

More medium enterprises also are adopting Ethernet as they migrate to VoIP, employ storage networking and access cloud-based services, the research firm stated.

IDC's study found that E-Line services – Ethernet private line and Ethernet virtual private line –  make up slightly less than half of the Ethernet services revenue at present.

Growth of Ethernet access as an alternative to leased lines also is contributing to demand, IDC noted, predicting the Ethernet access market will maintain growth rates above 20 percent during the forecast period driven by growth in mobile backhaul, IP VPN and dedicated Internet access services.

The research firm said Ethernet's "cost effectiveness, high-bandwidth scalability, ease of implementation and overall flexibility" were behind the growth. Ethernet services often are significantly less expensive than private line or packet services, IDC noted, adding that lower equipment costs contribute to overall cost-effectiveness.

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