Ethernet - Top cable technologies in 2013

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While the revenue cable operators from selling Ethernet-based broadband Internet and telephone services to businesses pales in comparison to their core triple-play packages, commercial services are the biggest area of revenue growth for Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and other cable MSOs.

Comcast saw its revenue from Ethernet and other business services jump 34.2 percent to $660 million in the fourth quarter. The MSO will look to grow that revenue more in 2013 in major markets such as Chicago, where it recently announced plans to hire an additional 170 staffers for a Comcast Business Class facility it opened in Naperville, Ill.

Major cable MSOs are also using Ethernet to offer backhaul services to mobile phone providers. With providers seeing increased mobile data usage from consumers using smartphones and tablet computers, cable operators are poised to grow revenue by transporting data from cell towers. Mobile backhaul transport is expected to generate $6 billion annually for service providers by 2016, according to Dell'Oro Group.

Cable operators are able to use Ethernet connections to sell businesses much faster and more expensive broadband packages than those marketed to consumers. For example, Comcast charges $370 monthly in Boston for its 100 Mbps service. Last fall, the MSO began offering businesses in San Mateo, Calif., download speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second.

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