Broadband ISPs like Comcast -- which don't have customers using older network technologies -- are hoping to take advantage of this situation and lure new customers to their Ethernet services. Comcast has been targeting healthcare companies, local government agencies and educational institutions that are upgrading their networks from frame relay and ATM to encourage them to switch from a top-tier carrier like Verizon to Comcast's Ethernet service.
"We've been making contact so businesses are aware that we have an alternative," says Karen Schmidt, executive director, enterprise product marketing, Comcast Business Services. "We have companies that need a big pipe to get to their data center. ... Others need backup. Those are a good opportunity for us to get in the door. ... When companies are making a change, we see it as a door opener.''
Schmidt says that while the shift from frame relay and ATM has been going on for several years, it is accelerating this year. "Companies are moving data to the cloud, they have more video applications. ... Customers have more and more bandwidth needs, and the older technologies are not keeping up with them," she adds.
Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.