RealTime IT News

Covad Taps Samsung For Voice Trial

Covad will use Samsung network equipment to run its new line-powered voice access (LPVA) service, an offering that could prove more attractive given the Supreme Court's Brand X ruling.

LPVA will use Samsung's multi-service access platform to convert phone signals from analog to digital. The signal will then be transported over Covad's nationwide broadband network and terminated at a phone connected to the partner's VoIP system or a Baby Bell's copper network.

Financial terms of the deal between the San Jose, Calif., service provider and the Dallas telecommunications arm of the South Korean electronics giant were not disclosed.

This new technology enables Covad to offer basic local and long-distance voice services, along with high-speed Internet access and, eventually, video-over-DSL. It is being positioned as an affordable alternative to local phone companies.

That's more important than ever following the Supreme Court's ruling that said cable companies aren't legally required to open their lines to smaller rivals.

"In light of the court's decision, it is clear that Covad offers the only national alternative broadband network to ISPs and VoIP providers." James Kirkland, Covad senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement.

Covad, along with a partner, independent ISP EarthLink , announced plans for commercial trials earlier this month. The tests are scheduled for October in Dallas, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle.

Atlanta-based EarthLink is funding the trial through prepayment of future Covad services.

A Covad spokesman said LPVA will be available to Covad wholesale partners after the trials. The company said it's only aware of one other communications provider, McLeodUSA, with a similar LPVA service.