WorldCom launches Ethernet service across US

WorldCom Inc. has begun publicly marketing Ethernet services for businesses to customers in 84 cities and metropolitan areas in the U.S., the company announced Wednesday. The offering permits companies to use Ethernet to directly connect their corporate networks and applications to the Internet.

Metropolitan and wide area private line Ethernet services are available wherever the Clinton, Mississippi, carrier operates metropolitan fiber networks, currently in 84 U.S. cities and metropolitan areas, said Natasha Haubold, a WorldCom spokeswoman.

Other Ethernet services are available in select locations. Internet-dedicated Ethernet, as well as Gigabit Ethernet in colocation centers and Ethernet to establish VPN (Virtual Private Network) connections is available in New York; Chicago; Dallas; San Francisco; San Jose, California; Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. Other locations will be added as demand warrants, she said.

The Ethernet initiative is a re-packaging of currently-available services, said Jon Zymaris, WorldCom's director of Ethernet and security services. Ethernet service packages were offered on a case-by-case basis by the company's sales channel as they became available, but WorldCom waited to announce their public availability until enough cities and enough services came online together to justify a national launch, he said.

Ethernet has grown in popularity with network managers for its malleability and cost effectiveness. Direct Ethernet connections from LANs to wide area networks permit data traffic to flow without slowing down for translation to a new network protocol, Haubold said. Ethernet also allows network managers to adjust the bandwidth of their connections without having to buy new equipment, she said.

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