RealTime IT News

Qwest, Microsoft Deal to Provide Internet Access for MSN

Microsoft Corp. is putting Qwest Communications International Inc.'s nationwide Internet Protocol-based network to task providing local dial-up Internet access for its MSN subscribers.

Qwest Wednesday was awarded a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal to provide Microsoft with local dial-up services to expand MSN's subscriber base on a global scale.

Qwest was also tapped to supply high-speed dedicated Internet access links to Microsoft Internet data centers with transport through London-based KPNQwest, the offpsrping of Qwest 's European joint venture with Dutch telecommunications giant KPN .

The direct links to Qwest's nationwide IP network and KPNQwest's pan-European IP network will provide MSN with secure Internet connections, as well as speedy routes for any Internet users accessing MSN and Microsoft-owned web content.

Together, the agreements will increase the capacity of MSN Internet Access and will expand its ability to deliver services to an expanding global user base.

Lewis O. Wilks, Qwest president of Internet and multimedia markets, said the agreement marks another major step in its strategic relationship with Microsoft.

"Microsoft is expanding MSN's capacity using the industry's fastest, most secure and reliable IP network with an infrastructure for enabling leading-edge dial services for businesses and consumers," Wilks said.

Ted Kummert, MSN Internet Access in the Consumer Group vice president at Microsoft, said its goal is to bring more MSN subscribers online and Qwest is an essential partner in achieving the company's objectives.

"Our relationship with Qwest enables even more consumers to access MSN's Everyday Web," Kummert said. "We're happy to expand our existing dial-up services with Qwest's network."

Additionally, Qwest reported that its remote access port initiative would have more than 1 million dial-up ports by the end of this year. The Qwest North American access initiative, dubbed its Macro Capacity Fiber Network, is designed with the latest optical networking equipment for built-in speed and efficiency and spans more than 25,500 miles.

Meanwhile, KPNQwest is building a high-capacity fiber optic network in Europe that will span 11,800 miles when completed in 2001.

MSN will be set to utilize the Qwest IP network later this quarter with dial-up modem speeds up to 128Kbps.

As a part of the deal Qwest will also provide MSN with operational management services for the network and its equipment, as well as customer services related to network operations.