AT&T Switched Ethernet Network on Demand

One of our Technology customers recently migrated to a new AT&T WAN offering called AT&T Switched Ethernet – Network on Demand (ASE NoD). This is the most recent evolution of their metro Ethernet service with the addition of long-distance layer 2 connections.

What makes this "network on demand" is the ability to change bandwidth as needed through a web portal up to the physical Ethernet hand-off limit, typically 10Mb/s, 100mb/s, or 1Gb/s. The default rate for each of this customer's location was set to 20, 50, or 100Mb/s.

Since this is relatively new product we had several Gotcha's in the implementation:

  • The customer ordered 1Gb/s hand-offs which is only delivered on single-mode fiber. This required new optics or media converters for sites with router that had only UTP connections.
  • The actual bandwidth for billing is based on the Committed Information Data (CID) rate. Initially was set to 20Mb/s for most sites, which matched the price quoted by AT&T. We wanted to increase the bandwidth for one location but the portal did not allow any changes above the default CID. After several calls to AT&T we discovered there was a hidden internal maximum set at 20Mb/s. My guess is they are trying to protect customers from themselves. We had them change the maximum to the max handoff speed of 1Gb/s.
  • After fixing the issue above, the Ethernet Virtual Channel (EVC) for each site changed to 1Mb/s, but thankfully only in the portal. The actual EVC did not change. It took another series of calls with AT&T to fix this issue.