Actelis Networks expands its product line with a device designed to let carriers offer metropolitan Ethernet services over multiple copper lines in areas where fiber isn't available or economically feasible.Actelis Networks recently expanded its product line with a device designed to let carriers offer metropolitan Ethernet services over multiple copper lines in areas where fiber isn't available or economically feasible.Called the MetaLight 100E, the system uses the same MetaLoop technology as Actelis' existing product, the MetaLight 1500, which serves DS-3 speeds over multiple copper lines. MetaLoop is a patented spatial division multiplexing algorithm.(see story,\u00a0"Lighting up Copper" ).The technology uses multiple lines instead of one fiber connection. MetaLoop parses packets, transmits the fragments over the multiple lines, then reassembles them at the receiving end."In the metro market there aren't many options between a T-1 and a DS-3," says Hamid Lalani, senior vice president of global marketing and business development for Actelis. "With the 100E, we're trying to allow providers to serve that in-between market."There should be demand for metropolitan Ethernet services in the WAN because the technology is so pervasive inside corporations, says Michael Kennedy, managing partner and co-founder of consulting firm Network Strategy Partners."I think there's a market for Ethernet over copper," he says. "Guessing the size is the tough part."Approximately 11% of business in the U.S. have access to fiber, so the potential market for Ethernet services over copper is large, Lalani notes.The MetaLight 100E can serve up speeds ranging from 3M to 60M bit\/sec over a maximum of 16 copper pairs. The box supports a range of 18,000 feet and relies on standards-based, single-pair high-speed DSL technology to achieve its high-speed connections.Each installation requires a MetaLight 100E at the customer site and one at the nearest central office. The systems communicate over a point-to-point, symmetrical connection, and support voice, video and data transmissions.The MetaLight 100E features IEEE\u00a0802.1Q virtual LAN tagging and\u00a0802.1p priority queuing with four available queues. If a copper pair can't transmit data, the other copper pairs will compensate for the disabled connection, Lalani says.Kennedy says MetaLight should appeal to incumbent carriers. Actelis' MetaLoop product is in use at Cincinatti Bell and Qwest.Because the 100E is geared toward companies requiring more than a T-1 and less than a DS-3 of bandwidth, it shouldn't cannibalize the incumbents' base of traditional data customers, observers say. But the product's biggest selling point, Kennedy says, is that it requires very little capital investment on the part of the incumbent.Depending on required bandwidth, pricing for a pair of MetaLight systems should run between $10,000 and $20,000, Kennedy says. If providers price their high-bandwidth Ethernet services at more than $1,000 per month, they'd be looking at a return on investment possibly within a year or two.The MetaLight 100E is available now.