Cisco Partners with NorthPoint on DSL Bid

SAN MATEO (05/09/2000) - Cisco Systems Inc. yesterday charged forward with another broadband play, teaming up with DSL company NorthPoint Communications Group Inc. in an alliance designed to fuel NorthPoint's DSL platform.

Under the agreement, NorthPoint signaled that it will use Cisco's full suite of products to build out its DSL network and enhance the company's ability to deliver content and new services.

Cisco last month entered a similar deal with regional phone giant SBC Communications. That alliance calls for Cisco to provide hardware to power SBC's EVPN (Enterprise Virtual Private Network), ATM, DSL, and other SBC services. Cisco also has nailed down commitments from DSL providers Rhythms and HarvardNet, which are harnessing Cisco equipment to ramp up DSL networks.

NorthPoint will incorporate Cisco 6160 IP DSL switches, Cisco 6400 Universal Access Concentrators, and other aggregation routers and multilayer switches, officials said.

NorthPoint claims it alliance with Cisco will help the company stretch IP and ATM intelligence closer to the network's "edge." To promote more consumer use of DSL for work-related applications, NorthPoint has also forged partnership with Tandy, RadioShack, and Microsoft.

Cisco Systems Inc., in San Jose, California, is at www.cisco.com. NorthPoint Communications Group Inc., in San Francisco, is at www.northpoint.net.

Jennifer Jones is an InfoWorld senior editor.

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