BellSouth nnounced the launch of Virtual BellSouth Metro Ethernet Service, the latest addition to the broadest Metro Ethernet portfolio available among U.S. service providers.

Metro Ethernet is the telecommunications industry designation for Ethernet transport service that moves data traffic between two or more customer Ethernet Local Area Networks (LANs). Virtual BellSouth Metro Ethernet Service provides four classes of service, committed information rate and service level agreements and can link locations using multipoint-to-multipoint, point-to- multipoint or point-to-point architecture.

“The latest enhancement to BellSouth(R) Metro Ethernet Service takes the product portfolio to the next level,” said Martin Chandler, vice president, product management – Business Markets, BellSouth. “BellSouth now offers the diversity of speed and premium features to support the entire range of data, video and voice over IP applications over Ethernet.”

Early adopters of the service may include companies from finance, health care, manufacturing, education and local government segments that require guaranteed throughput, comprehensive service level agreements and high-speed, cost effective Ethernet service to support multiple applications.

Class of service creates virtual port flexibility

With Virtual BellSouth Metro Ethernet Service, customers can designate traffic into four different classes with different routing priorities: best effort, business critical, interactive and real-time. Real-time and interactive classes are suitable for applications that have a low tolerance for delays, such as voice and video. Business critical and best effort are used to distinguish higher priority business data from non-critical applications such as email and general Web surfing.

Businesses can combine more than one class of service on the same Ethernet port, creating additional virtual ports and allocating the appropriate bandwidth to each application. For example, a customer may decide to order a virtual port that uses 90 percent of the bandwidth to support e-mail, while assigning the remaining 10 percent for voice over IP. The e-mail would be designated as best effort class of service and the voice over IP as real-time. These virtual ports can be adjusted through a Web interface based on the bandwidth required and the applications in use.

Committed information rate assurance

Committed information rate ensures guaranteed bandwidth throughput for customers, available at the following speeds: 2Mbps, 4Mbps, 8Mbps, 10Mbps, 20Mbps, 50Mbps, 80Mbps, 100Mbps, 200Mbps, 300Mbps, 450Mbps, 600Mbps, 750Mbps and 900Mbps. This provides additional service assurance to businesses.

Competitive service level agreements

BellSouth offers service level agreements for the following metrics according to the class of service designation:

* Network availability – 99.5 to 99.995 percent
* Jitter – 1 millisecond
* Latency – 5 to 15 milliseconds
* Packet delivery – 99.9 to 99.995 percent
* Time to repair – 4 hours

Service level agreements are supported by Web-accessible customer network management software and credits are awarded if service levels drop below contractual levels.

BellSouth recently launched Mid-band Ethernet speeds options of 2Mbps, 4Mbps and 8Mbps over both copper and fiber and expanded Metro Ethernet access to Network VPN throughout the Southeast. Virtual Ethernet functionality is also available in Mid-band Ethernet speeds and in Metro Ethernet access to Network VPN applications.

For more information about BellSouth voice and data solutions for large business customers, visit