Charter Communications is pushing forward on its commercial services strategy with the recent launch of new carrier interconnect capabilities in five locations across the nation.

Charter Business is offering Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) certified carrier Ethernet services from its new locations ranging from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps. Charter said the service was designed to meet carrier class performance, monitoring and service level agreement requirements.

"Charter Business has made a significant investment to build diverse and redundant capabilities at these initial five interconnect sites," said Jim McGann, Senior Vice President of Charter Business. "We are strategically focused on the carrier market; enabling high-capacity, fully redundant interconnect capabilities via either a private cross-connect or our Carrier Ethernet Exchange partners."

Charter has turned on the interconnect services at two locations in Los Angeles, as well as Atlanta, its home town of St. Louis, and Worchester, Mass. Additional sites with the same capabilities are being readied to launch later this year, providing access to most of Charter's network of over 55,000 fiber route miles, serving thousands of fiber lit locations and thousands more "near-net" locations throughout its 25-state footprint.

Charter has also entered into agreements with Carrier Ethernet exchange partners to provision flexible options for wholesale Ethernet access. The first two agreements are with Cenx and Equinix.

"This is a very exciting development for the market," said McGann. "It allows a simple, cost effective solution for wholesale providers with high bandwidth needs to utilize Charter access services to reach their off-net customers, bringing them great value."

Cox Business and Cablevision's Optimum Lightpath also have deals in place with Cenx.

Charter has been gearing up its slate of business services over the past few years. Last year the nation's fourth-largest cable operator launched DOCSIS 3.0-based tiers for businesses.

For more information on Carrier Ethernet services, check out this month's wallchart in CED.