Nortel inks deals to build out 'e-communities'

Nortel Networks on Tuesday announced a second recent deal with service providers that are scrambling to build out new residential housing developments pre-wired for broadband access.

The latest win for Nortel, is a $30 million contract from service provider FirstMile Technologies in Indianopolis. FirstMile is assembling community intranets designed to link homes, schools, and businesses in areas surrounding Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, and Tampa, Fla.

"In the case of larger enterprise customers, this makes an attractive option for telecommuting workforces," said Greg Marrow, Nortel's director of solutions marketing.

The FirstMile win follows Nortel's announcement recently that the Toronto networking giant is working with Rio Mesa Utilities Services under a $5.6 million contract to build an "e-village" outside Fresno, Calif.

"The whole thinking behind this is that many of the companies in Silicon Valley will look at this community, which offers broadband connectivity and security services that easily let employees gain access to corporate networks," Marrow said.

Nortel adds its work with service providers building such "Master Planned Communities" to its broadband portfolio. The company now has deals with providers targeting multitenant office buildings and multitenant dwelling units along with an increasing number of hospitality deals for high-speed connectivity.

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