Vendors looking to spur the adoption of optical Ethernet technology on Tuesday announced the formation of the Metro Ethernet Forum.
"Our goal is to enhance the benefits of optical Ethernet services. We will not be a standards body but a forum to enable interoperability and applications," said Ron Young, MEF chairman and chief marketing officer of Yipes Communications.
Long limited to use on LANs, Ethernet technology is now being deployed over longer distances through evolving standards.
MEF will work to promote incorporation of optical Ethernet in the MANs (metropolitan area networks) surrounding cities across the globe.
MEF member companies include equipment manufacturers such as 3Com, Alcatel SA, and Cisco Systems; incumbent carriers such as BellSouth and SBC Communications; and several service providers.
MEF representatives suggested that the group will push for the deployment of Ethernet switches in metro networks.
But at the same time, the group will also strive to work the technology into existing Synchronous Optical Network standard or SONET-based networks.
"We don't believe this is a question about which technology we are competing with. The question really is how to evolve Ethernet within the huge installed bases of other technology in the metro," said Bob Klessig, co-chair of MEF's technical committee.
"I know everybody loves to position everything as a big fight. But this is not the [Worldwide Wrestling Federation] but real-world evolution of technology," Klessig quipped.