Integra Increases Their Footprint
By Sean Buckley
Integra is continuing its aggressive Ethernet buildout strategy, expanding its Ethernet over Copper (EoC) network to another 43 fiber-fed ILEC Local Serving Offices (LSOs).
Through this expansion, Integra's EoC access service now reaches a total of 187 on-network LSOs, enabling it to reach more than 460,000 businesses in over 140,000 commercial buildings.
Providing up to 100 Mbps of bandwidth over existing copper pairs, the expansion accommodates growth in seven of the CLEC's existing markets: California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho, Minnesota and Colorado.
Brian Washburn, service director, Global Business Network and IT Services for Current Analysis, said in an interview with FierceTelecom that Integra's milestone reflects its move to extend Ethernet into secondary markets that have not been traditional targets for Ethernet deployments.
"What's really nice about this for Integra is it is getting Ethernet over Copper into a lot places that are maybe not as well loved as the U.S. East Coast or the Pacific Northwest," he said.
Washburn added that Integra will face competitive headwinds from area incumbent telcos, particularly CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), which has been expanding its EoC footprint in many of the markets where Integra provides service.
"The flipside to this is among the incumbent local carriers, CenturyLink is one of the bigger proponents of Ethernet over Copper," he said. "In that respect, it's behaving more like Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN) or Frontier (Nasdaq: FTR) and being kind of pro deployment of Ethernet over Copper inside of its carrier incumbent footprint."
Data transport is only one part of the EoC equation. Current and new EoC customers can also get access to its broader portfolio of Ethernet-based services, such as its IP/MPLS VPN Solutions, Hosted Voice Services and other managed and cloud services.
While Integra has built a sizeable network that supports a suite of fiber-based Ethernet, EoC has been a key element in extending Ethernet service into areas that it currently can't reach with fiber.
Over the past two years, it has been enhancing its EoC portfolio, introducing a 60 Mbps symmetrical EoC service in November 2012 and later a 100 Mbps capability.