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Bell Canada, Next Level Offer MDU Broadband Services

[Toronto, CANADA]- Bell Canada, Canada's largest communications company, has signed a multi-year contract with Next Level Communications, Inc., which offers ATM/IP optical interactive DSL broadband systems. Next Level will provide its VDSL NLevel3 Unified Access Platform for broadband services.

Bell Canada currently offers VDSL broadband services in a technology trial to Palace Pier, a large condominium apartment complex in Toronto.

With Next Level's VDSL service, Bell Canada will be able to offer a broadband delivery platform for Bell Sympatico Internet service, Bell ExpressVu's digital TV channels, and full telephony features over a standard phone line, according to Tom Hope, chief technology officer of Bell Canada. He added that this technology is complementary to Bell's Internet strategy that is focused on superconnectivity, commerce and content.

Next Level's universal services access multiplexers (USAMs) will be located in, or near, the high-rise buildings in a multi-dwelling unit (MDU) application, delivering VDSL services over standard copper twisted pair to Toronto apartment and condominium residences initially with the potential to expand to other major cities.

"In Canada, approximately 35% of the population live in buildings taller than four floors," said Hope. "Thus, our plan is to target high-rise residential buildings for our initial launch. Next Level's VDSL platform is the perfect solution for residents living in apartments, condominiums, or townhouses because it enables us to provide state-of-the-art video, Internet and telephone services on a single integrated system. This `no new wires' solution is attractive from a resource, cost and time to market perspective."

In conjunction with the signing of the contract, Next Level is opening a regional sales and support office in Toronto to service Bell Canada and other customers in the region.