RealTime IT News

SBC Turns to BroadJump to Ease DSL Provisioning

While others in the DSL market are crashing and burning, San Antonio, Texas-based SBC Communications Inc. has been aggressively growing that side of its business.

On Jan. 19, the Baby Bell, which now has footholds across most of the U.S., strengthened its ties with Prodigy Communications Corp. -- of which it is a majority stakeholder -- and announced plans to migrate all its DSL and business and residential dial-up customers to Prodigy by the end of the year.

Now the company is tackling what most industry-watchers consider DSL's major hurdle to acceptance: The lengthy installation process. On Tuesday it unveiled an alliance with BroadJump Inc., which will provide its Virtual Truck Installer software to streamline SBC's DSL installation process.

A virtual truck is an automated provisioning process that lets end users set up DSL service without waiting for a technician. Customers can use the software to install DSL on their own after the lines have been cleared by the local telephone company -- which in SBC's case is SBC itself.

SBC is banking that by reducing the number of software installation steps and decreasing the time to install hardware, BroadJump's Virtual Truck Installer will improve efficiency and reduce the costs associated with sending out technicians to handle installations. SBC also said the virtual truck will eliminate post-installation truck rolls and decrease installation-related support calls.

SBC is branding the virtual truck SBC Express.

"We want to ensure that each subscriber experiences a fast and efficient installation," said Andres Gutierrez, general manager, customer self-install for Advanced Solutions Inc., an SBC subsidiary. "More and more of our customers are choosing to self-install their DSL service and equipment."

SBC also worked with BroadJump's Professional Services group to create a self-installation guide which will be packaged with the SBC Express CD-ROM.