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OneMain.com, Covad Sign National Broadband Pact

OneMain.com Monday bounded into nationwide Digital Subscriber Line services through a deal with Covad Communications.

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

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

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

"As demand for broadband service grows in our markets, OneMain.com 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 OneMain.com 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 OneMain.com to identify growth opportunities in the smaller metropolitan markets that OneMain.com serves fits with Covad's drive to make Internet access available to everyone," Wong said.

OneMain.com plans to offer Covad's DSL service to business customers in select cities by the end of March.