RealTime IT News

Microsoft Invests $30 Million to Accelerate NorthPoint DSL Expansion

Microsoft Corp. this week announced it will invest $30 million in NorthPoint Communications Inc. as part of a long-term Digital Subscriber Line network expansion and marketing alliance.

The alliance was formed in order to accelerate NorthPoint's DSL network expansion. At the same time, Microsoft intends to develop a set of specifications for standardizing the content-delivery interface and architecture for next-generation broadband services.

"NorthPoint is a leading provider of high-speed Internet access, and we are pleased to be working closely with it to facilitate the deployment and adoption of broadband services in the market," said Thomas Koll, vice president of Microsoft's Internet customer unit.

"Our work with NorthPoint on the analysis of end-user broadband requirements and on the specification of a content-delivery interface will make these new services even more applicable and accessible to consumers and businesses of all sizes."

The companies will conduct co-marketing and sales activities to promote the MSN Portal and NorthPoint services. Microsoft will initiate joint marketing activities through their existing sales channels. NorthPoint will make available customized, co-branded versions of the MSN Portal to its more than 85 ISP partners nationwide.

Microsoft projects that it may purchase wholesale provisioning of approximately 100,000 NorthPoint DSL lines over the next two years.

NorthPoint currently offers service in 17 markets, encompassing 36 cities, and plans to expand to 28 markets, or 68 cities, by the end of the year.