While work on the higher speed IEEE standard is still evolving, carriers are getting ready to add 100G Ethernet capabilities to their networks. Verizon Business plans to deploy 100G network capabilities over all its major routes within the U.S. during the first quarter of 2009. Customers in cities, such as New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago, will be able to take advantage of the higher speed services. In addition, Level 3 has been building 100G Ethernet lines for the Internet2, a high-speed academic network.
The evolution is good news for small and medium businesses. As carriers roll out higher speed network infrastructures, the pricing for business network services should drop and the bandwidth available should rise. Consequently, they will find it easier to cost justify deployment of complex applications, such as video and multimedia.
There are some limitations with the 100G Ethernet services. Initially, new high bandwidth services tend to be expensive. There are often blips as vendors try to get different devices to interoperate. Some of the services will emerge before the 802.3ba standard is finalized, a process that is expected to be completed in 2010. In sum, higher network speeds lurk on the horizon for those small and medium business that need them, but mainstream deployment is still a few years away.
How fast are your backbone links? How much of a need do you have for 100G Ethernet? How much would you be willing to pay for such a service?