Further emphasizing the growing move by cable MSOs into the enterprise segment, Charter Business is apparently going where cable hasn’t traditionally gone – into the longhaul business. Yesterday they announced two new products aimed at the enterprise space that enable them to address opportunities beyond a single metro area: longhaul Ethernet and Layer 3 VPN.
Both products are natural extensions to the company’s growing efforts to target the enterprise business, so this probably doesn’t come as a surprise. Still, seeing the cable guys selling intercity bandwidth circuits of their own is a big shift in the wind. As I recall, Charter leases dark fiber for its intercity network from Level 3, which would perhaps now prefer to be selling them more lit services instead. That being said, this is not a market-wide entry into the longhaul business by Charter, but rather they are probably purely focused on those opportunities that span their specific markets. That increases the size of the pie they are shooting for, especially amongst the multi-site mid-sized enterprise market.
The other major cable MSOs will likely be following suit, albeit on their own schedules. Comcast is just getting started ramping Metro Ethernet product line after all.