AT&T tops Vertical Systems Carrier Ethernet leaderboard

24 February 2017 | James Pearce


AT&T maintained top spot on the Vertical Systems US Carrier Ethernet leaderboard, ahead of Level 3 and Spectrum Enterprise.

The ranking is based on retail part share, and only counts providers with a 4% share or higher of the US Ethernet services market. Vertical Systems Group measures the number of customer ports in service, with input from Ethernet providers, to develop the rankings.

Verizon, CenturyLink and Comcast came fourth, fifth and sixth respectively, with the Verizon down from third place in 2015, and the CenturyLink down from fourth. Fewer than 10 share points separated the top six ranked companies.

Time Warner Cable had previously been ranked fifth, but was acquired by Charter Communications, who did not appear on the list, last year. Windstream and Cox both moved up a place each, to eighth and ninth respectively.

"The pace of growth in the Ethernet market softened in the second half of 2016, finishing at 16 percent for the full year. This easing is expected to continue as alternative technology solutions are evaluated, such as dark fiber and SD-WAN," said Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group.

"M&A activity is accelerating as Ethernet providers scramble to extend fiber footprints, enhance service technology and enter new markets. Looking forward, the LEADERBOARD will undergo dramatic changes as a result of these transactions."

Other providers who offer Ethernet services are divided into Challenge, representing the 1-4% share bracket, and Market Players, who are below 1%.

Lightpath remains in the Challenge Tier under Altice USA, which also combines share for Suddenlink and Cablevision. Sprint also entered this tier, while Integra fell below 1% share.