Cable operators had a strong showing on Vertical System Group’s recent mid-year Ethernet Leaderboard.

Cable MSOs now comprise 20 percent of the total Ethernet port base in the United States while Incumbent Carrier segment remained the largest with 47 percent, followed by the Competitive Provider segment’s 33 percent.

veritical"During this reporting period, the Cable MSOs showed very strong market penetration. For the first time, the Cable MSO segment had more new Ethernet port installations than the Incumbent Carrier segment," said Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group. "Competition was heaviest in the mid and small business sectors served by MSOs and regional CLECs, resulting in very favorable pricing for customers."

Based on port share, the U.S. Ethernet Leaderboard, in rank order, was comprised of: AT&T, Verizon, tw telecom, CenturyLink, Cox, XO, Time Warner Cable, and Level 3. Movement on the Leaderboard from the previous period included XO moving up to sixth position, Time Warner Cable moving up to rank seventh, and Level 3 dipping to the eighth spot.

Overall, the eight Leaderboard companies as a group lost more than 2 percent market share to smaller competitors during the first half of the year.

Port shares for mid-2013 were calculated using Vertical's base of enterprise installations, plus direct input and other data from surveys of Ethernet Service Providers. To qualify for the Leaderboard, a provider needed to have 4 percent or more of billable retail port installations.

The following seven Ethernet providers posted the next highest mid-2013 port shares, and achieved a position in the Challenge tier (in alphabetical order): Charter Business, Cogent, Comcast Business, Integra, Lightpath (formerly Optimum Lightpath), Windstream, and Zayo Group (includes AboveNet and other acquisitions). To qualify for the Challenge tier, a provider needed to have 1 percent or more of billable retail port installations.

Other items of interest from the latest Leaderboard report included:

• A larger percent of retail Ethernet ports are being sold using wholesale and other channel partners

• Ethernet providers cited an uptick in demand for connectivity to Private Clouds using Ethernet Private Lines (EPLs) and Ethernet Virtual Private Lines (EVPLs).

• The fastest growing offerings during the period were Ethernet access to IP/MPLS services and Cloud connectivity.