A key part of Comcast Business Services' product portfolio is Metro Ethernet (also known as Carrier Ethernet), a technology that allows organizations with a need for higher bandwidth to connect to the Internet, multiple offices, data centers, and other locations, at speeds ranging from 1 Megabit per second (1 Mbps) up to 10 Gigabits per second (10 Gbps). Metro Ethernet is a significant leap forward in performance compared to traditional T1 lines, and more and more mid-sized organizations are using it every day to help them utilize cloud computing and other "bandwidth hungry" services.

For many years, Comcast has been part of a standards body called the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), a global industry alliance of more than 190 organizations, including telecommunications service providers, cable MSOs, network equipment manufacturers, semiconductor vendors and others whose mission is to accelerate the worldwide adoption of Metro Ethernet. In fact, Comcast has served on the MEF Board of Directors for several years, including Kevin O'Toole from 2008-2011, and now myself, as I recently started my board term in January 2012. Additionally, Comcast was the first carrier to be MEF-certified in all three current standards (MEF 9, 14 and 18).

Today, the MEF announced a "new generation of Ethernet" — or what they call Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE 2.0). What does this mean for customers? The MEF's goal with CE 2.0 is to spur growth and adoption of Ethernet around the world by evolving its global capabilities, while at the same time streamlining the certification-process and simplifying the message for our mid-market customers and the industry as a whole.

The MEF has been a critical factor in the success of Ethernet services to date and we look forward to working with them in the coming months on CE 2.0 and seeing what this generation of standards can bring to our mid-market customers, as well as other organizations around the world.