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Microsoft Delves Further Into Broadband

Furthering its stake in broadband services, Microsoft Corp. allied with NorthPoint Communications, a local exchange carrier that provides DSL technology, to accelerate the availability of broadband communications services to businesses and consumers and improve the performance of content delivery over the Internet.

The alliance with NorthPoint focuses on the specification of a standards-based content-delivery interface and architecture that will enable the industry to create platforms, applications and tools for next-generation broadband services. The companies will collaborate on the development of this interface, which directly links high-speed local data networks, such as NorthPoint's DSL network, with providers of streaming video, audio and other broadband applications.

Microsoft and NorthPoint hope to further enhance the co-branded MSN Portal, once developed, with new features made possible by the content delivery interface.

"Our work with NorthPoint on the analysis of end-user broadband requirements and on the specification of a content-delivery interface will make these new services even more applicable and accessible to consumers and businesses of all sizes," said Thomas Koll, vice president, Internet Customer Unit, Microsoft.

As part of the announcement, Microsoft expects to invest $30 million in NorthPoint's initial public offering and projects that it may purchase wholesale provisioning of approximately 100,000 NorthPoint DSL lines over the next two years. – Thomas Sullivan, Senior Reporter/Northwest Correspondent

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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