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Covad Extends T-1 Service

Covad Communications officials Tuesday announced the expansion of T-1 services in 10 new markets, giving businesses a data option that reaches beyond the normal distance limitations of digital subscriber line (DSL) service.

TeleXtend was launched last November in Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, San Francisco and St. Louis as part of an experiment to see if sales of T-1 service to businesses would help the embattled data competitive local exchange carrier (DLEC) get out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. If successful, Covad officials planned on nationwide availability in the first quarter of 2002.

Obviously, it was enough of a success (though officials won't say how many customers they have signed up for the service), to warrant expansion into Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, OR, St. Louis, MO, and Seattle, WA.

Todd Kiehn, Covad senior product manager, said its T-1 service is priced much lower than what's available by many of larger carriers in the industry.

"TeleXtend is offered at up to 30 percent less than competitive T1 services and is generally installed within 30 days of ordering, making it a smart choice for small and medium-sized businesses," he said. "Big company bandwidth can now be available at a price any-sized company can afford."

The carrier's nominal service, asymmetric DSL (ADSL) service to residential customers, while popular, is a low-margin business to get into and part of the reason the independent carrier went into bankruptcy in the first place.

T-1 service, priced at $449 per month, is much more lucrative and opens the door for a host of ancillary services Covad can provide.

The business service also gives Covad business customers a broadband connection beyond the normal distance limitations of DSL, a technology that degrades (normally 15,000 feet) the further a connection is from telephone company's central office (CO).