Go national

* Verizon announces completion of IP backbone

Verizon has completed the buildout of its national broadband IP network and plans to offer data and voice services to large businesses, government organizations and educational institutions on a national scale later this month.

Verizon began constructing the network almost two years ago to support its Enterprise Advance initiative. Enterprise Advance is an effort to attract large business customers requiring nationwide voice and data services. Verizon expects Enterprise Advance to generate $250 million this year.

The MPLS-enabled, fully meshed network will allow Verizon to extend its IP-VPN and TLS Ethernet services nationally. Currently, Verizon offers these services within its 29-state region.

National IP VPN also provides the foundation for a managed enterprise VoIP service scheduled for launch later this year, Verizon officials say.

In addition to TLS, the network will support frame relay and ATM access, and also private line access for business-class VoIP customers. TLS is a multipoint service in Verizon’s metro areas but a point-to-point “Ethernet virtual circuit” service nationally, compliant with Draft Martini standards, officials at the RBOC say.

Verizon says it will offer quality-of-service, end-to-end management and service-level agreement guarantees on these national services. Business class VoIP will support four classes of service.

The RBOC will initially target these services at its current in-region data and voice customers, but the RBOC also has designs on the data customers of IXCs AT&T, MCI and Sprint.

Indeed, all the RBOCs covet IXC data turf as they attain approval to offer long-distance services first within, and then outside, their operating regions. The large enterprise data market represents a $100 billion opportunity for the RBOCs, according to Verizon.

Verizon already offers private-line backup, OC-48 and OC-192 metro SONET and point-to-point Ethernet-over-SONET services to IXC customers, officials say. 

Verizon’s new national backbone and associated metropolitan and regional networks include more than 200 routers in 56 markets. The backbone’s core consists of routers in 13 major cities: Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Dallas-Fort Worth; Los Angeles; New York; Newark, N.J.; Philadelphia; Reston, Va.; Seattle; San Francisco; and Tampa.

The number of POPs will expand to 65 later this year and to 100 in 2005, Verizon officials say.

Verizon is using Juniper T-series routers in the national backbone, Cisco 12000s in the LATA core, and both vendors’ routers for the service edge.

Verizon’s announcement of the completion of its national broadband backbone joins recent VPN service rollouts and enhancements from SBC and BellSouth. SBC announced a nationwide network-based VPN offering designed to go directly against data offerings from the IXCs.

BellSouth announced extensions to a year-old network VPN service targeted at companies with 60% of their locations within BellSouth’s nine-state region. The extensions include ATM, Ethernet and tiered DSL access; a turnkey packaging option; intrusion-protection features; improved SLAs; and integration with other BellSouth managed voice and data services.

Learn more about this topic

Verizon’s Enterprise Advances

Network World, 05/09/03

SBC goes nationwide with VPN service

Network World, 03/29/04

BellSouth unveils regional IP backbone

The Edge, 05/14

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Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.