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SP360: Service Provider

The times, they are a-changing!  And this is just the beginning!

Like the classic ‘60s tune composed by the legendary musician Bob Dylan, the world continues to change in more ways than we had imagined even a decade ago. We have seen the advent of Internet for all, free phone calls with Voice-over-IP, as well as free application software available not just for computers but delivered over mobile wireless networks to our smartphones and tablets.  Desktop applications have given way to web-based applications, and the rapid ascent of social media to communicate with a globally connected set of followers in fractions of a second.

Set against this backdrop of these phenomenal technology advances, the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) has enjoyed a decade of outstanding technology and market success. Initially founded by a handful of enterprising individuals, the MEF recently hosted their tenth anniversary in California’s Napa Valley with an “A List” industry professionals from their 185 member companies.    The definition of Carrier Ethernet is synonymous with the work of the MEF -- a set of standardized and cost-effective Ethernet business services, scalable, reliable, with service level guarantees that can traverse the metro, the nation, or the globe across any media.

Generations of innovations and new service application drivers (mobile broadband, video, and cloud) for Carrier Ethernet have been rapidly driven forward by the dedicated efforts and influence of the MEF volunteers.   As with new generations of music, adoption of Carrier Ethernet services in the marketplace was not without similar challenges to overcome.  The MEF and their close-knit community of equipment vendors and service providers have built a massive following around the globe.  The effects of Carrier Ethernet market growth on world business, predicted by industry analysts to reach $40B in services and equipment in 2014, are profound.

From those early founding days and throughout the decade, Cisco has partnered with the MEF to accelerate the adoption and innovations of Carrier Ethernet as a foundational infrastructure to enable the delivery of new services to businesses and consumers. The MEF toasted and recognized many key individuals from Cisco, our service provider partners, and the vendor community for their leadership roles and contributions to the industry.   The next decade of market growth for Carrier Ethernet goes forward with Cisco commitment and partnership – with the continued dedication and support of our honored leader and outstanding technical contributor, Lionel Florit, who has been elected to serve as a voting member on the MEF Board of Directors.

Carrier Ethernet has successfully outlasted many technologies through the ongoing innovation, adaptation, and collaboration of the MEF community - and this is just the beginning!

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