Broadwing has won a contract with Kmart to provide expanded dial-up services for the retailer's Internet access business, the companies said Wednesday. Kmart, which began offering dial-up Internet services in 1999 through its BlueLight.com unit, says the deal will add 500 more dial-up numbers to its existing 6,000 lines. Kmart has similar agreements with Qwest Communications International and Level 3 Communications.
The deal is a potential shot in the arm for Broadwing, which supplies telecommunications services to other carriers and businesses. The company has been hit hard by the recession and a steep downturn in the telecom market, and says it faces the extra challenge of being a relative newcomer to the Internet services market. Last month, the Cincinnati-based company said it would close six sales offices and shut down its construction business, laying off of 900 employees, or 15 percent of its staff, in the process.