AT&T, Verizon, tw telecom Dominate U.S. Ethernet Rankings

Research firm Vertical Systems Group has released its U.S. Business Ethernet Leaderboard for year-end 2010.

In order of ranking, the top providers were: AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., tw telecom inc., Cox Communications Inc., XO Communications, Qwest Communications International Inc., Time Warner Cable and Level 3 Communications Inc.

Enterprise customers also appeared more confident about the economy, buying more Layer 2 Ethernet services for their ultra-high bandwidth applications. The financial, education and state and local government verticals were particular adopters.

All in all, the Ethernet port base grew 34 percent in the United States in 2010, above Verticals previous forecast of 31 percent. Some notable changes: XO edged out Qwest to take fifth position on the Leaderboard, while Level 3 moved up to eighth place over Cogent Communications, which dropped off the Leaderboard. Meantime, AT&T, Verizon and tw telecom accounted for half of the U.S. retail Ethernet port base.

“In 2010 there was also considerable market consolidation due to mergers and acquisitions, primarily among Tier 2 and Tier 3 providers,” said Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group. A common driver for these deals was acquiring fiber assets in order to expand network infrastructures and deepen direct fiber delivery of Ethernet services. Look for more of these transactions in 2011.”

Other providers delivering business Ethernet services in the United States market include AboveNet, CenturyLink, Charter Business, Cogent, Comcast Business, Covad (a unit of MegaPath), Expedient, FiberLight, Frontier, Global Crossing, Lightower, Masergy, NTT, Optimum Lightpath, Orange, Paetec, Reliance Globalcom, Savvis, Sidera Networks (formerly RCN Metro), Sprint, SuddenLink, Windstream and Zayo Group.

Vertical Systems releases a bi-annual study of Ethernet service providers with 4 percent or more of the retail port base in the United States.

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