Office Depot Becomes a DSL Outlet

FRAMINGHAM (07/19/2000) - Get ready to order DSL the next time you stock up on rubber bands.

Office Depot Inc. is lining up a string of partners to offer high-speed DSL access services from its 855 stores in North America.

Office depot customers will be able to check at each store whether DSL service can be delivered to their sites, and if so, place an order.

The first announced DSL service provider partner, Jato Communications Corp., will supply business-grade DSL services at speeds from 144K bit/sec to 1.5M bit/sec. Earlier, Office Depot announced an alliance with 2wire for its DSL customer site gear.

Office Depot will announce other service provider partners over the coming months, with the target of delivering DSL services sometime this fall.

Prices have not been set yet, according to Mike Dietrich, Office Depot's vice president of communications and services. The services will come with service-level agreements on bandwidth and availability that would be required by corporate customers. "This is business-grade DSL, not cheap DSL," Dietrich says.

Jato says its business offering is different from its residential DSL service in that its upstream and downstream speeds are the same and that more redundancy is built into the network to reduce the chance of downtime.

The company hopes eventually to deliver Internet access, VPN service and voice over the DSL links, he says. Office Depot is lining up an ISP partner to offer DSL Internet access.

DSL services will be sold with an undisclosed Office Depot brand name.

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