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@Link Hires Nortel Networks for Broadband Capability

Communications firm @Link Networks Wednesday paid Nortel Networks $225 million for broadband equipment and services.

With the deal, Nortel, who will provide a package of data, voice, video and virtual private networks for @Link, will bolster its position as a digital subscriber line leader.

The portfolio of Nortel Networks (NT) equipment, which features the Promatory Communications global DSL platform, will enable @Link to provide customers with connectivity and networking solutions that are secure, reliable, fast, scalable and affordable. The solution enables @Link to aggressively pursue its deployment strategy in the midwestern United States.

Beginning in Indianapolis in mid-April and moving throughout Middle America, @Link's deployment plan is to make service available in 14 states by the end of 2000, outfitting nearly 1,000 central offices with Nortel's hardware and software. States who may expect service include Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio and Texas.

"Through the next-generation network we are building with Nortel Networks, we can provide today's customers with quality of service and class of service that delivers the functionality, reliability and security they need. And we are uniquely positioned to meet the advanced connectivity demands of the information-driven customer of tomorrow," said Alex Good, @Link Networks chairman and chief executive officer.

@Link Networks, formerly Dakota Services, specializes in high-speed data, voice, video and other communications solutions for small- and medium-sized companies.

This latest wheeling and dealing by Nortel comes in the wake of the Canadian firm's purchases of CoreTek for $1.43 billion and Xros for $3.25 billion, both inked in the past month.