RealTime IT News

NorthPoint, Covad Plan Major DSL Expansions

Digital Subscriber Line providers NorthPoint Communications and Covad Communications Thursday unveiled plans to accelerate the rollout of DSL service to dozens of new markets across the country.

NorthPoint (NPNT) plans to rollout DSL service to 32 new markets over the next year, bringing its total footprint to 60 markets across the country. NorthPoint projects that by the end of 2000, more than 50 percent of businesses and 45 percent of households in the country will be eligible for its service.

The news comes after Covad also announced it will double its DSL coverage areas to more than 100 markets. The company already targets consumer markets across the country through partnerships with a number of regional ISPs. Northpoint plans to also partner with ISPs as it moves to target residential customers.

Already, Covad has signed deals with MindSpring Enterprises (MSPG) to offer DSL services to its customers. The company said its network now covers 23 million households and 2 million businesses nationwide.

The moves come as Baby Bells across the country find themselves in a heated race with cable companies to provide high-speed access. Last week, SBC Communications Corp. said it will spend $6 billion to increase the availability of DSL in its territory.