PAETEC (news, filings) is pushing its Ethernet-over-Copper product line to the limit. In May they bumped up their capabilities to 100Mbps, but today they doubled that again, provisioning a circuit offering bandwidth in excess of 200Mbps. The link is being used by a 'prominent web marketing company' to connect its latest datacenter to the Internet.
PAETEC is leveraging Ethernet gear from Overture Networks to power its EoC products. EoC uses multiple bonded copper pairs within the same conduit to bring major bandwidth to buildings where fiber is not yet available and where building out would be cost prohibitive. They are in the process of boosting their EoC footprint into more central offices, spreading from the Intellifiber footprint into the former McLeodUSA assets amongst others. Obviously the speed of the offering available is distance-dependent, but 200Mbps in a commercial EoC product is real bandwidth regardless.
Just a week ago, of course, PAETEC agreed to be purchased by Windstream (NYSE:WIN, news, filings), which is looking less and less like the rural ILEC it once was. The concept of a company with a large ILEC business operating a 200Mbps-capable EoC product line across hundreds of central offices outside its own footprint and in competition with other ILECs is rather striking. One wonders if the likes of Frontier and Fairpoint might be taking notes here.