SBC, Cisco Team On Broadband Services

SAN MATEO (04/19/2000) - SBC Communications Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. today announced an alliance designed to notch up SBC's broadband services and ultimately the company's presence in the enterprise market.

Specifically, Cisco will provide hardware to power SBC's Enterprise Virtual Private Network (EVPN), ATM, DSL, and other SBC services.

The two companies are banking on their combined market power to press further into broadband by pitching more comprehensive networking solutions, especially to enterprise customers.

Through the agreement, SBC will also become a provider in Cisco's Powered Network program and will work with Cisco to develop advanced IP services.

SBC's alliance with Cisco is just one of the moves the company has taken recently to branch out from being a local telephone service provider to become more of a national player, especially in the corporate data networking market.

The Texas local phone giant earlier this year staked a US$3.9 billion claim to the e-commerce market by snapping up enterprise vendor Sterling Commerce.

SBC is also working to overcome initial resistance from federal regulators to the company's plans to begin offering long-distance service.

SBC -- along with other regional Bell operating companies such as Bell Atlantic -- is trying to break the regulatory barriers to offering long-distance voice service as a necessary step in being able to provide enterprise customers with the bundled service they now demand, SBC officials claim.

However, the U.S. Department of Justice in February told the Federal Communications Commission to deny SBC's petition to offer long distance in Texas. The Justice Department claimed SBC had not been accommodating enough in opening its local infrastructure to the company's smaller DSL competitors.

The FCC is reviewing SBC's long-distance petition.

SBC Communications Inc. in San Antonio, Texas, is at www.sbc.com. Cisco Systems Inc. in San Jose, Calif., is at www.cisco.com.

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