100 Gigabit Ethernet trumps OC-768 by 2012, firm says

* Freesky Research says 100G Ethernet will beat OC-768 in two years

The 100 Gigabit Ethernet standard is expected to complete in 2010, and a research firm says it will take only two years for the technology to out-ship SONET OC-768.

Freesky Research recently released a report that said that the initial drive to 100 Gigabit Ethernet will not come from telcos - instead it will come from corporations, governments and research labs. The author, David Gross, writes that more than 70% of all 40/100 Gigabit data revenue through 2013 will come from those sources.

Freesky says that telcos will take "a lot of direction" from their customers, and so will also find themselves moving toward 100 Gigabit Ethernet.

Still, OC-768, which translates to about 40Gbps, will still be used by carriers to aggregate slower-speed SONET, STM, and T3/E3 circuits. ILECs and PTTs still have more than 50,000 metro SONET/SDH rings in operation, and that traffic can't easily be shoehorned into Ethernet, according to the report. So, expect carriers to continue to buy OC-768 gear for a while, even as enterprises and governments ramp up their purchases of 100 Gigabit Ethernet equipment.

A few months ago, my colleague Brad Reed reported that AT&T had deployed OC-768 over its entire ultra-long-haul network in the U.S. All of AT&T's IP traffic has been consolidated onto this IP/MPLS backbone, which stretches more than 80,000 fiber-optic wavelength miles. Even so, AT&T at the time said that the new backbone would provide a "streamlined path" to 100 Gigabit Ethernet.

Meanwhile, Verizon has said it is going to 100Gbps this year.

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