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MegaPath Aims To Be Megaman of DSL

MegaPath Networks Inc., announced Friday the buyout of New York-based 1Terabit, Inc.'s, digital subscriber lines of as part of its national expansion plan.

Growth through acquisition has been the Pleasanton, CA-based company's ticket to nationwide deployment, since outright purchase of an existing DSL operation is much less expensive than starting from scratch in a city thousands of miles from headquarters. With its buyout, MegaPath now has an automatic customer base, equipment and contract with the local Baby Bell.

The company provides high-speed DSL services to small- to medium-sized businesses and power Internet users in 28 major metropolitan areas. It plans to cover 38 cities at summer's end, and by early 2001 plans to cover almost 100 percent of the nation's metropolitan markets. In late June, the company bought out the DSL lines of Santa Clara, CA-based Web Zone, Inc.

1Terabit will continue operations outside the DSL services marketplace, and are currently busy redesigning its website to reflect the change.

Dr. Harry Taxin, MegaPath president and chief executive officer, said 1Terabit is one of many companies it hopes to acquire DSL lines and services from in its national deployment.

"We welcome 1Terabit customers to our rapidly growing national network of business users," Taxin said. "The 1Terabit agreement is an excellent example of how we plan to expand our service through this and other planned acquisitions."

Funding for its national acquisition plan comes from its April first-round funding, where U.S. Venture Partners and Trident Capital ponied up more than $21 million in financing.

The company's hinging its business plan on the "platinum customer care," which gives customers price breaks if setup and speed difficulties occurs.

It's an offer you won't see promoted by telcos (telecommunications companies) and many major data and competitive local exchange carriers (DLECs and CLECs). If setup takes longer than 50 days, the first month is free; if 80 days have passed with setup difficulties, the first two months are free. And if the contracted DSL speed isn't met, business customers are allowed to cancel its service with no penalties.

"Customer care is the missing ingredient in most current DSL service plans," Taxin said. "We stake our reputation every day on our ability to deliver the best possible care with the finest person-to-person proactive customer support available from any Internet provider of any size."