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Optical Ethernet enabling local governments to offer next-generation services: Yankee Group

Optical Ethernet is riding high in municipalities around the world, according to a new report from the Yankee Group...


December 18, 2002  


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Optical Ethernet is riding high in municipalities around the world, according to a new report from the Yankee Group.

New services being offered include geographical information services to provide sky-view property photos, land gradings, and more accurate real estate evaluations; enhancement to 911 services and online video training for municipal employees.

From Milwaukee, Wis. to Ste. Hyacinthe, Que., the decision to build an optical Ethernet network is being aided by a number of factors, the first of which is cost. As an example, Milwaukee estimates it will save at least US$15 million over the next 10 years by building its own network.

The Yankee Group notes that Milwaukee has the distinct advantage of having more than 500 miles of ductwork under its streets that were initially built in the late 1800s for copper telephone lines. They’re now being used for high-speed services over fiber-optic cable.

"Now is the time for cities and towns to investigate the possibilities involved with building and operating their own optical Ethernet network," said Terry Landers, communications network infrastructure analyst at the Boston, Mass. consulting firm. "The main constraint to doing this in the past has been the inability to hire the talent necessary to build and run a network. With the downsizing in the telecom space, these people are now both more abundant and less expensive."

Two equipment vendors currently participating in this market are Nortel Networks Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. Nortel’s network design, which has been installed in a number of municipalities including Ste. Hyachinthe, includes OPTera Metro 3500 and 3100 multi-service platforms and SONET devices with Resilient Packet Ring technology.

Cisco recently installed a network in Vienna that uses the Catalyst 4000 switch and the 12000 series Internet router with MPLS for the core IP network.

The bottom line, says Landers, is that vendors should invest in product development and make their products as easy to own and operate as possible. This will allow them to "reap rewards not just in this market, but also in the enterprise market."


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