Small businesses and consumers seeking voice service alternatives to their
incumbent local exchange carriers are one step closer to enjoying new
Broadband access provider Covad
Communications Co. Wednesday announced that it has reached an
agreement with GST Telecommunications
Inc. to develop integrated voice over digital subscriber line services.
The two companies plan to utilize asynchronous transfer mode technology to
develop transport service offerings for small businesses.
The agreement is the result of the emerging market for integrated voice and
data DSL services. Covad will work directly with GST to develop voice over
DSL service offerings in an eight-state region of the western United States.
As part of the deal, GST has already signed an agreement with Covad to
provide Covad’s DSL services to GST’s customers. The companies anticipate
completing initial service trials of voice over DSL services by the end of
In related news, Covad Wednesday signed an $100 million extension of their
DSL supply agreement with Finnish equipment group Nokia.
Nokia will supply Covad with the equipment for in order to deploy up to
750,000 new DSL lines in the U.S. Currently, Covad DSL services are
available in 37 metropolitan markets nationwide.
Robert Roblin, Covad executive vice president of marketing, said targeting
competitive local exchange carriers to develop integrated DSL services
would breakdown barriers to proprietary telecommunication markets.
“Securing development agreements with voice CLECs is an important step
toward providing true competition and choice to the $45 billion dollar
small business voice communications market,” Roblin said. “By working with
aggressive, nimble voice CLECs such as GST, Covad plans to break the local
phone service monopoly for voice services.”
The agreements closely follow Covad’s successful completion of voice over
DSL technical trials using existing gateways and related voice equipment
from both Jetstream Communications
Inc. and CopperCom Inc.
Roblin said Covad plans to design a manageable telecommunications system
for small businesses that will enable companies to apportion up to 16 voice
lines and data through one DSL connection.
“Although the technology behind the service is impressive by any standard,
voice over DSL is really about leveraging a DSL line to provide voice
products with better service delivery and better customer service.”