RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — BellSouth’s rollout of its new Ethernet-speed line of services has earned the telecommunications provider the Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Line Strategy.

BellSouth uses new technology from RTP-based Hatteras Networks as an essential part of so-called mid-band Ethernet services. The Hatteras products enable BellSouth to deliver high-speed data, voice and other services at speeds of 2 megabits per second or faster over existing copper wire infrastructure. The new Metro Ethernet service helps customers who do not have fiber-optic cable access at their locations.

“Although a handful of other service providers in the United States announced implementing Ethernet over copper solutions, BellSouth is the first Regional Bell Operating Company to deploy such technology and offer these services,” said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Maria Zeppetella. “The company is clearly differentiating itself from other providers by utilizing its copper infrastructure assets to deliver Ethernet services to customers.”

Frost & Sullivan is an international consulting firm.

Metro Ethernet, which is a term that refers to the linking of two or more Ethernet local area networks, also fills the gap between standard copper deliver methods of T1 (1.54 Mbps) and DS3 (45 Mbps).

“Without the option offered by BellSouth, customers desiring a bandwidth upgrade would have had to move to DS3 speed of 45 Mbps — an enormous increase in both bandwidth and price that most SMBs do not need nor can afford,” Zeppetella said.

BellSouth offers various enhancements to the Metro Ethernet products, such as four different classes of service (best effort, business critical, interactive and real-time) to make more effective use of Internet Protocol applications over a single port. Also available is the option of forging multiple types of connectivity at different locations into one single corporate enterprise network.

“BellSouth planted a stake in the ground with Metro Ethernet over a decade ago and continues to lead the industry,” said Martin Chandler, vice president of product management for BellSouth Business Markets. “Ethernet has emerged to become the preferred transport method for corporate data networks and BellSouth continues to evolve its portfolio to support advanced customer applications.”

BellSouth has 469 Ethernet switches across its nine-state Southeastern network.

“BellSouth’s introduction of Mid-Band Ethernet addressed a clear and compelling need from business customers for higher-performance Ethernet services over the existing copper network,” said Kevin Sheehan, chief executive officer at Hatteras Networks. “We’re pleased that BellSouth selected Hatteras Networks as their provider of Mid-Band Ethernet equipment and look forward to working with them as they continue their network-wide deployment.”

Hatteras Networks closed on $21 million in new financing in June and has embarked on an aggressive growth strategy. It already has some 50 customers worldwide.

For more information about BellSouth’s services, see: www.bellsouthlargebusiness.com

Frost & Sullivan: www.frost.com

Hatteras Networks: www.hatterasnetworks.com