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RCN Dials Up Ascend Switches

Internet, phone and cable provider RCN Corp. Wednesday inked an $11 million deal with Ascend Communications to deploy Ascend's switch technology in the Boston to Washington, D.C. corridor of RCN's network.

The deal is part of a campaign to promote and enhance its new ISP brand, RCN.com. Earlier this week the company brought subsidiaries Erols, UltraNet, JavaNet and Interport under the RCN.com brand. Its subscriber base is now estimated at nearly 500,000.

Under terms of Wednesday's agreement, Ascend will provide connections between RCN's Internet backbone and its dial-up subscribers. RCN will offer V-90 service, utilizing approximately 200 Ascend high-volume MAX TNT switches.

"This technology will allow RCN to even further improve our award-winning Internet services," said David C. McCourt, RCN chairman and chief executive officer.

"As the Northeast's largest regional Internet Service Provider (ISP), we are committed to providing fast and reliable Internet connections to our growing dial-up subscriber base."