Covad Courts Apple Folks

Santa Clara, Calif.-based broadband service provider Covad Communications announced plans this week to expand service offerings to Mac users, a move that is expected to lead to a noticeable uptick in its subscriber base.

Covad’s first-ever offering to the Mac community includes high-speed Internet service for the Apple Macintosh platform and a simple self-install, plug-and-play broadband service with Mac-compatible software that supports operating systems 8.0, 9.0, and Mac OS X.

According to a spokesperson for Covad, the company had been looking into expanding its capabilities for a long time, and based on information provided by numerous focus groups, it was clear that the demand for high-speed Mac service was growing.

“There is a very loyal Mac audience out there and we wanted to offer them broadband,” said the spokesperson.

The new service will be available throughout Covad’s 96 metropolitan service areas, which currently reach approximately 40 million homes and businesses, according to the company.

Covad-branded Internet access for Mac users will start at $39.95, said the spokesperson, and includes Mac support and documentation in Covad’s self-install, home user kits.

The new offering also includes options for Web hosting, email hosting, and access to Covad’s Web-based SMART account Manager, which lets subscribers access their account information and change or add email accounts.

In its continued pursuit of the small business owner, Covad went to market earlier this week with a new low-priced broadband service for small business that includes Web hosting bundled with access service. The new service includes email, Webmail, free anti-virus, and spam protection.

Covad also offers subscribers firewall and virtual private network services as well as a series of high-speed Internet access packages.

The carrier has had a longstanding partnership with AT&T that gives Covad and its 50 million customers access to its broadband network. Covad is currently provisioning AT&T-branded digital subscriber service in targeted areas of the country to existing customers of AT&T Worldnet Service.

The two companies renewed their partnership in January of this year.

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