RealTime IT News

@Home Solutions, Microsoft Seal Broadband Alliance

Cable broadband provider @Home Solutions Friday announced it is teaming with Microsoft Corp. to jointly deploy of broadband Internet services to an estimated 15 million homes and businesses served by small and mid-sized cable operators.

For Microsoft, the deal means its Windows NT Server operating system will be deployed across the distributed network serving @Home Solutions customers.

@Home Solutions is a unit of the cable Internet provider that specializes in deploying high-speed Internet access to customers of small and mid-size cable companies. @Home Solutions expects to extend the current @Home Network model by providing additional services including the financing of cable and network equipment, expanded customer service, billing services, service installation, and marketing support.

In addition Microsoft will provide support and other resources to market the @Home Solutions service.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In April, @Home Solutions disclosed its first round of financing. Investors included 3Com Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Motorola Inc., and cable company Falcon Communications.

@Home Solutions also announced a separate agreement with Falcon Communications to deliver high-speed Internet services in certain markets. Under that agreement, @Home Solutions will gain access to approximately 1.2 million homes in 23 states. The service will be called Falcon@Home and is expected to launch later this year.

"Microsoft's work with @Home Solutions will bring a tremendous boost to our plans to leverage the power of cable and open nature of the Web to expand access to a richer Internet experience in small and mid-sized cable systems," said Dean A. Gilbert, chairman of @Home Solutions.

"We very much welcome Microsoft's involvement, which will help us to establish @Home Solutions as the clear broadband leader in the small and mid-sized cable markets."

"We are pleased to work with @Home Solutions to deliver new and enhanced services that take advantage of the full capabilities and performance of cable and @Home's distributed network," said Thomas Kroll, vice president of Microsoft's network solutions group.

"This is an exciting step that will further accelerate the wide-scale availability of broadband services for both consumers and businesses," Kroll said.