Level 3 Biggest Ethernet Gainer as AT&T, Verizon Lead the Pack

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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AT&T finds itself at the top of Vertical Systems Group's annual U.S. Business Ethernet Leaderboard.

AT&T is followed on the list – ranked based on port share – in order, by Verizon, tw telecom, CenturyLink, Cox, Level 3, XO and Time Warner Cable. VSG calculated port share using the base of enterprise installations of Ethernet services and gathering input from its surveys of Ethernet providers.

Overall, the U.S. market for retail Ethernet ports was up 24 percent in 2012.

"The year was characterized by major backbone upgrades, new market rollouts, price wars and channel expansion. Ethernet access to IP VPNs and cloud connectivity were the fastest growing applications," said Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group.

Level 3 jumped up two spots from the year before, surpassing XO and TWC.

"AT&T and Verizon remain the top two providers, but not without challenges," Malone said. "AT&T experienced slower overall growth in Ethernet – especially in the second half of the year – and derived more Ethernet sales from wholesale partners. Verizon remained No. 2 on our Leaderboard despite a challenging fourth quarter which resulted in loss of market share."

Other providers selling Ethernet services in the U.S. are segmented into two tiers as measured by port share. The first, or challenge tier for 2012, includes (alphabetically) Charter Business, Cogent, Comcast Business, Integra, Lightpath, Reliance Globalcom, Windstream (includes Paetec) and Zayo Group (includes AboveNet).

The second, or market player tier, covers other providers offering Ethernet services in the U.S., including EarthLink Business, Lightower, Masergy, MegaPath and many more.

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