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Ameritech, Compaq partner on DSL

Just a month after it cut a deal with Microsoft to provide DSL service, Ameritech says it will partner with Compaq to make its service user-friendly.

Just a month after it cut a deal with Microsoft to provide high-speed Net access over copper wires, Ameritech said it also will partner with Compaq to make its service user-friendly.

The deal comes in the wake of next week's expected announcement between Microsoft, Intel, How real is DSL? and Compaq to team up with telephone companies to provide DSL (digital subscriber lines). Today's deal with Ameritech foreshadows how the deal may work.

In this case, Compaq will test the modems and network cards that the telco is using for Ameritech's service.

"This means that later this year, customers will be able to purchase select Compaq Presario computers and have them configured by some retailers in parts of Michigan to run Ameritech.net high-speed Internet service," the company said in a statement. "The Compaq Presario computers are expected to be available by spring 1998."

In December, Ameritech and Microsoft said they would work with hardware makers to make their PCs and equipment DSL compatible. The telco also will package its DSL service with the Internet Explorer browser.

As reported earlier, US West recently launched DSL in the Phoenix area, and Bell South, SBC Communications, and Bell Atlantic are expected to roll out the service later this year. All these telcos are expected to be part of next week's announcement.