MCI Hails Fixed Wireless Internet Access

SAN MATEO (03/07/2000) - MCI WorldCom Inc. today announced that the company officially has kicked off the first trials of its strategy for providing broadband Internet access via fixed wireless technology.

Specifically, MCI WorldCom is developing a major campaign to offer broadband services using MMDS (Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service). MMDS uses the radio spectrum to serve a 35-mile radius.

MCI WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers for a while has dropped hints that he has big plans for MMDS, which is central to his scheme for bypassing local phone companies.

MMDS is also a critical part of the pending MCI WorldCom-Sprint merger.

Sprint Corp. meanwhile is building out a fixed wireless footprint and already has announced its own early MMDS trials.

MCI WorldCom will perform trials in Jackson, Miss., Baton Rouge, La. and Memphis, Tenn. Trials include small- and midsize-business users and residential customers.

The company plans to offer commercial service later this year upon licensing approval from the Federal Communications Commission.

MCI WorldCom Inc., in Clinton, Miss., is at Sprint Corp., in Kansas City, Mo., is at

Jennifer Jones is an InfoWorld senior editor.

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