RealTime IT News, Covad Sign National Broadband Pact Monday bounded into nationwide Digital Subscriber Line services through a deal with Covad Communications. (ONEM) forged pact with Covad (COVD) to provide national broadband access to non-metropolitan markets as a part of its high-speed Internet service expansion plan.

Mike Read, president and chief operating officer, said the partnership allows to provide broadband services on a more cost-effective basis.

"Our agreement with Covad is a significant step in's national broadband strategy to provide our customers with a greater choice in Internet service," Read said.

The move carries risk in that specifically targets non-metropolitan service areas. But Read said the demand for broadband Internet access exists nationwide and would supply the connectivity.

"As demand for broadband service grows in our markets, is doing its part to begin bridging the growing digital divide and offer the most advanced broadband solutions to those customers who request them," Read said. "We're confident can generate greater customer loyalty, given its first to market strategy in the cities it serves."

Rich Wong, Covad vice president of marketing, said it was a solid move for Covad to market high-speed services in small communities.

"The opportunity to work with to identify growth opportunities in the smaller metropolitan markets that serves fits with Covad's drive to make Internet access available to everyone," Wong said. plans to offer Covad's DSL service to business customers in select cities by the end of March.