To qualify for the LEADERBOARD, providers must have 4% or more of the U.S. Ethernet services market. Shares are measured by number of ports in service at businesses and enterprises as tracked by Vertical, with input from surveys of Ethernet providers.
"For the full year 2015, the Ethernet market grew by more than 20%, however the second half of the year showed moderating growth going into 2016," said Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group. "During this cycle, Windstream moved up to the LEADERBOARD from the Challenge Tier based on the strength of its Ethernet private line service and its presence in many smaller markets that others do not serve."
Ethernet providers cited footprint expansion and support for increased speeds as their top initiatives for 2016 in response to Vertical Systems Group's Year-End 2015 Ethernet/IP VPN/Fiber and LEADERBOARD Survey. Price compression and provisioning intervals are considered the primary challenges.
A key competitive requirement cited by Ethernet providers is MEF CE 2.0 certification. Seven of the nine companies on the 2015 U.S. LEADERBOARD have MEF CE 2.0 certified services. Additionally, all LEADERBOARD-ranked companies employ MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professionals (MEF-CECPs).