After testing the waters for 6 months, Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX, news, filings) has formally launched its new Ethernet exchange service. The idea of course is to bring together the various Ethernet networks out there in a direct and reliable way, such that the whole is greater than the sum of the various parts. And of course that each of those parts shares in those benefits, as does Equinix itself. I'm still looking for details on how the workflow on this sort of exchange will operate and then how it will scale, but with Ethernet exploding throughout the sector the time does seem ripe to give it a go.
The initial participant list is quite impressive:
Easynet Global Services
Virgin Media Business
Everyone on that list of course would benefit from wider and simpler scope of its Ethernet capabilities, allowing them to serve customers that would otherwise be difficult to serve. Who is not there? Well, the only western ILEC or PTT on the lists is KPN. AT&T, Verizon, BT, FT, NTT, Teliasonera - perhaps none of these companies feels the urgency because they already go most of the places they want to go. Or perhaps they are just biding their time, and will join later on if the concept proves viable.
The service is initially live in Los Angeles, New York, Silicon Valley, Chicago and London - the last one giving Equinix the ability to claim the first 'global' Ethernet Exchange. Over the next year, another 14 sites will be added. No doubt this story will continue to develop throughout the year, as Equinix and its competitors in this space - CENX, Neutral Tandem, and perhaps more - continue to jockey for position.
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