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LMKI, New Edge Networks Form DSL Pact

Network service provider LMKI Inc. Thursday aligned with New Edge Networks Inc. to deliver broadband Internet services to small businesses in U.S. semi-rural markets.

The companies forged the pact in order to leverage LMKI's broadband integration capabilities with New Edge Networks' digital subscriber line access to businesses in underserved markets.

Steve Godsey, New Edge Networks general manager, said LMKI was the perfect partner to extend its DSL services.

"LMKI has a very promising business case and is a solid example of new broadband integrators whose customers can benefit from our network's bandwidth, speed and performance," Godsey said. "LMKI will help New Edge reach additional customers."

Bryan Turbow, LMKI president and chief technology officer, said the deal would equally expands its service area.

"Our agreement with New Edge broadens LMKI's footprint, and accelerates the adoption of our virtual private network services nationwide," Turbow, said. "New Edge's national presence will expose us to a larger market share of businesses that need our services."

New Edge Networks began providing high-speed Internet access last December and currently serves up DSL access from more than 200 locations nationwide.

The broadband service provider is set to expand its brand of high-speed services to more than 300 locations before the year is through and has plants to install equipment in more than 750 locations in all 50 states by early next year.

In related news, New Edge Networks settled its squabble with U S WEST Wednesday.

New Edge Networks won concessions from U S WEST that will help the company accelerate introduction of broadband services in 14 western states.

In exchange for these concessions, New Edge Networks has withdrawn a complaint charging anti-competitive practices against U S WEST.

The settlement requires U S WEST to reduce the timetable it takes to complete collocation of New Edge Network's equipment from 45 to 30 days. U S WEST must waive one month's recurring fees if it misses the 30-day deadline.

Additionally, U S WEST must also bulk test and pre-qualify telephone lines in markets identified by New Edge Networks to determine whether they are conditioned and capable of carrying DSL service. U S WEST will waive line conditioning charges if its tests and pre-qualifications fail to identify the need for line conditioning.

Susan McAdams, New Edge Networks vice president of external affairs, said the real winner in the dispute is the consumer.

"Broadband demand is phenomenal and accelerating," McAdams said. "DSL is single best way to get it to customers in a timely manner."

"Regional Bell Operating Centers had problems with their internal systems and outside plant records," McAdams added. "These problems continue to stand in the way of broadband deployment. Through this agreement customers in underserved cities will have faster access and choices for broadband services."