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Courts Could Rule On Covad Injunction Today

A ruling on an injunction filed against Covad Communications Group could be determined as early as Thursday afternoon, according to a company spokesperson

DSLnetworks officials filed an injunction against Covad this week, asking the courts for help from a company they say is stealing its customers.

The filing, submitted to the Santa Clara County Superior Court in California Wednesday, claims Covad representatives are calling shut down DSLnetworks customers and trying to bring them into its Safety Net program. The injunction calls for an immediate halt to that practice.

DSLnetworks officials said Wednesday it is still open for business and providing DSL service with other providers, and that the calls to its customers violated a non-disclosure clause in a contract signed by the two last year.

This comes one week after the data local exchange carrier (DLEC) shut down DSLnetworks and another ISP, Internet Express, for failing to pay up on overdue digital subscriber line provisioning.

Covad officials said the shutdowns are necessary to get its business plan on back on track, which suffered serious setbacks last year when many of the ISPs it sold DSL lines to could not pay for the lines it ordered.

The result was a significant drop in the revenues they use to pay incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) like Verizon Communications and SBC Communications, who actually own the DSL lines.

Martha Sessums, Covad spokesperson, said both companies were aware its DSL connection could be shut down during the refinancing negotiations, "but have never gone through with any of the payments agreed upon. It's like a credit card; if you don't pay the bill, you can't use the card anymore."

Another issue affecting the shutdown of DSLnetworks and Internet Express is the local ISPs who had signed with them to offer DSL service to their own customers.

Many smaller ISPs, unable to afford the minimum line requirements to deal with Covad, sign with ISPs like DSLnetworks who provision lines on a smaller scale.

Service to these providers were cut off at the same time as DSLnetworks, leaving many ISPs without DSL, many who diligently paid for the service and didn't renege on payments to the provider.

Sessums said these providers need to either sign up with Covad, if they can, or sign on with another ISP. A letter, she said, was sent out to all affected ISPs informing them of their options.