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CenturyLink Takes Top Spot, Spectrum Jumps in Ethernet Rankings

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CenturyLink and AT&T retained the top two spots while Spectrum Enterprise leapfrogged Verizon on Vertical Systems Group’s (VSG) year-end 2019 U.S. Carrier Ethernet Services Leaderboard.

VSG Carrier Ethernet Leaderboard Year-End 2019CenturyLink powered its way to the top spot in the year-end 2017 leaderboard after its acquisition of Level 3 Communications — and hasn’t looked back. AT&T is second, followed by Spectrum Enterprise, Verizon, Comcast, Windstream and Cox. Verizon was third on the previous leaderboard.

VSG calls this an industry benchmark for measuring Ethernet market presence. Network providers must have 4% or more of the U.S. Ethernet services market to crack the leaderboard.

“The base of U.S. Ethernet ports increased by 8.9% in 2019, buoyed by healthy demand for higher-speed access to cloud, internet and VPN services,” said Rick Malone, VSG’s principal. “During the past year, Ethernet providers focused on better monetizing service features to expand their existing business, while introducing streamlined offers to target the needs of the SMB market.”

Comcast had the highest year-over-year market share growth across the 2019 leaderboard providers.

Altice USA, Cogent, Frontier, GTT, Sprint and Zayo ranked in the Challenge tier, which includes providers with between 1% and 4% share of the U.S. retail Ethernet market.

Retail U.S. Ethernet installations increased last year to more than 1.25 million customer ports, according to VSG. Price compression, particularly for high-speed services, continues to limit Ethernet revenue growth.

Ethernet is the WAN underlay of choice for carrier-managed SD-WAN solutions requiring secure, dedicated high-speed connectivity. Active fiber buildouts across the United States are enabling Ethernet expansions to serve a broader base of mid-market customers.

Market shares used to determine the U.S. Ethernet leaderboard rankings are based on the number of billable retail customer ports in service as tracked by VSG. Ethernet port share analysis includes the following six service segments from the market perspective of what service providers are offering and enterprise customers are purchasing: Ethernet dedicated internet access (DIA), e-access to IP/MPLS VPN, Ethernet private lines, Ethernet virtual private lines, metro LAN, and WAN VPLS.


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