Comcast Business threatens Verizon by expanding Ethernet, fiber presence in 10 New York communities

Comcast Business (NASDAQ: CMCSA) is posing a new threat to local incumbent telco Verizon (NYSE: VZ), announcing that it is now offering its Ethernet services suite throughout 10 New York communities in Putnam, Dutchess and Westchester counties.

Delivering speeds up to 10 Gbps, these services are targeting a mix of local small and medium-sized businesses and multisite locations, such as schools and hospitals. These segments can use these higher-speed connections to tie multiple locations together or connect their offices to an area third-party data center to access cloud services or storage services.

Specifically, the communities of Beekman, Brewster, Carmel, Kent, Patterson, Pawling (town and village), Putnam Valley, Somers and Southeast will be able to take advantage of Comcast Business's four key Ethernet service lines: Ethernet Private Line, Ethernet Virtual Private Line, Ethernet Network Service and Ethernet Dedicated Internet.

This latest expansion effort comes at a time when Comcast Business is on a rapid growth curve. In the second quarter, it reported that its business revenues rose 22.4 percent, to $965 million.

A big driver of Comcast Business's results is the company's growing presence in the fiber-based Ethernet market. Comcast was named the fastest-growing company ranked on Vertical Systems Group's year-end 2013 U.S. Carrier Ethernet Leaderboard.

Interestingly, Comcast beat out one of the early cable-business pioneers, Cox Communications, by moving from eighth to sixth place, trailing acquisition target Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), which retained its fifth-place ranking.

The pending acquisition of TWC is likely to help advance Comcast Business's movement into the Ethernet space. Although it's unclear when the deal will close, Comcast will gain 860,000 on-net buildings from Time Warner Cable and will also gain the 8,700-mile regional fiber-based network from TWC's acquisition of DukeNet.

Rosemary Cochran, principal of Vertical Systems Group, told FierceTelecom that Comcast's acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Level 3's purchase of TW Telecom will change the dynamics of the overall Ethernet-market players.

"We're not speculating whether these deals will close this year or next year, but those are likely to definitely shake up the Leaderboard," Cochran said.

For more:
- see the release

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