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BellSouth, 3Com in DSL tie-up

The telco hopes to make it easier for customers to implement its high-speed Net services by offering modems from networking player 3Com.

BellSouth hopes to make it easier for customers to implement its high-speed Internet services through the use of modems from networking player 3Com.

BellSouth plans to widen its DSL (digital subscriber line) rollout using technology from 3Com, allowing the Baby Bell to provide a "one-stop shop" for consumers and small businesses. The company says it plans to roll out DSL service to 30 markets in the southeastern United States, a push that started last year.

BellSouth claims over 5 million telephone lines will be capable of handling asymmetric DSL service as a result of the partnership, with service expected to start in the early spring of this year. The Baby Bell already offers limited DSL services under the "FastAccess" brand name.

The two companies will also incorporate the G.lite DSL standard once it is ratified this summer.

BellSouth and 3Com also recently launched an alliance based on providing wireless access to the Palm VII personal digital assistant.

The Baby Bell has said it plans to develop the data side of its operations into a $5 billion business by 2002.