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Ethernet Extender - FairPoint Investing in Ethernet Backhaul
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January 11, 2013

FairPoint Investing in Ethernet Backhaul

By Jody Bennett
TMCnet Contributing Writer


FairPoint Communications, Inc. has stated that it is investing heavily in Ethernet mobile backhaul which is expected to grow by nearly 40 percent over the next year. Based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, FairPoint provides telecommunication services across 18 states including their “fiber-to-the-towers” project that seeks to boost broadband access in the company’s Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine operating areas.

The company declared bankruptcy in October 2009 and emerged two years later (January 2011) with new contracts, new customers, and a new strategy that seems to be working well.  Ethernet mobile backhaul is just one of these new projects, but it is a critical one since mobile backhaul can account for a majority of the cost of provisioning high-speed mobile services.  As the company notes, “As consumer demand for mobile devices like smart phones and tablets with fast Internet capabilities increases, cellular carriers are adding more backhaul capacity to their cellular networks.”

FairPoint intends to increase the number of these mobile connection points to more than 1,300 in 2013 based on signed contracts - a better than 39 percent increase. It should be noted that on any particular cell tower there can be one or more of these connections, known in the industry as Ethernet virtual connections, or EVCs.  The company says it, “Expects to increase its Ethernet mobile backhaul services to more than 1,000 towers in by year's end in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont with more than $200 million in its network.”

The move to invest in this infrastructure is just one example of a larger wave of companies throughout the United States that are investing and rebuilding antiquated IT networks and infrastructure, building WiFi (News - Alert) technology for city officials and local residence, and streamlining deployment and management processes to maximize operational efficiencies along with having the flexibility to adapt quickly to changing market conditions.

The extension of Ethernet end-to-end for wireless services, including the extension of service to hard to reach rural areas that are addressed  products such as those offered by Patton, is preferred solution for making broadband ubiquitous and affordable. What is means for FairPoint customers in the rugged areas of the Northeast is the ability to enjoy all of the value of broadband regardless of location.  

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Edited by Peter Bernstein

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