Optimum Lightpath, the metro fiber division of Cablevision, introduced a new product today: Ethernet-based Virtual Private Ring Service or VPRS. What is VPRS, other than a new addition to the alphabet soup used as vocabulary in the network world? Well, it's not a new technology per se, it's more of a new package of existing technology. Basically, if you sign up for VPRS, you get your own virtual metro Ethernet ring hooking up each site with a direct fiber connection, dedicated bandwidth to the other sites, and dynamic management of resources. You don't worry about the details and you have a nice simple bill at the end. Of course, it's not really a metro fiber ring of your own, it just acts like one.
In other words, it's aimed at the growing tier of smaller multi-site enterprises that have substantial networking needs but little in the way of resources or inclination for managing them. That expands the market opportunity for Optimum Lightpath's metro fiber. With economic conditions still unclear and cost-savings the order of the day, offering outsourced metro rings seems like a good idea that is probably being done under other names elsewhere already or soon will be.
Optimum Lightpath has been rather quiet since introducing their HD Voice product, but at the bottom of the PR I noticed a new datapoint for my metro fiber list. The company now claims 3500 on-net buildings on 3700 route miles, that's up over 400 buildings since the last time they updated the number in October 2008. Hmmmm, I will have to work on another update for that list for September.
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