AT&T to discontinue 2 Ethernet services due to low demand, dedicated Ethernet adoption

AT&T has made a request to shut down three of its legacy Ethernet services, citing weak interest and the migration of customers to its newer dedicated service lines.

This request is a just a string of moves the telco has made in recent years to take off services from its books whose use has passed. In this case, customers are adopting newer AT&T Dedicated Ethernet (ADE) services as well as SDN-based on-demand Ethernet services.

Specifically, AT&T is looking to shut down two Ethernet services:

GigaMAN: Transporting data signals at the rate of 1 Gbps, GigaMan is a point-to-point, gigabit Ethernet service that allows customers to transport data signals between local area networks (LANs).

DecaMAN: This is a fiber based, point-to-point, 10 Gigabit Ethernet service that allows customers to transport data signals between LANs.

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AT&T will discontinue offering GigaMAN and DecaMAN services in 11 states, including Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin.

Beginning on or after September 30, the service provider plans to no longer offer these services to new customers, subject to the FCC’s authorization of the discontinuance request.

Additionally, AT&T will no longer accept orders from existing customers for adds, moves, changes or new term plans for these services. Customers will also no longer be able to able renew, convert or extend term plans.

After existing term agreements expire, AT&T will provide these services on a month-to-month basis until the services are discontinued, which is currently planned for September 30, 2022.

“The public convenience and necessity will not be impaired by the discontinuance of these services because there is low demand for these services as there are alternative high-speed transport services available in the market, such as AT&T Dedicated Ethernet services,” AT&T said in a FCC filing (PDF).

News of the discontinuance should not be a surprise.

In recent years, AT&T has continued to replace GigaMAN and DecaMAN with ADE (AT&T Dedicated Ethernet) services, which include new protocols provisioned over fiber facilities.

As a fiber-based, point-to-point Ethernet service, ADE allows customers to transport data signals between two locations. ADE can be used to transport data as an Ethernet signal or embedded within an Optical Transport Network (OTN) signal.

The service offers speeds ranging from 1 Gbps up to 100 Gbps.

While AT&T has set a course for future Ethernet and IP-based services growth with ADE and incorporating on-demand functions, the service provider is not immune to business service revenue pressures.

During the second quarter, the service provider continued to see challenges in the business segment due to wireline pressure from legacy services and equipment sales. Business Solutions segment revenues were $17.1 billion, down 2.7% year-over-year due to continued declines in legacy services and fewer wireless equipment upgrades, partially offset by growth in strategic business.