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Telecom titan SBC buys Cisco gear

Regional telecommunications giant SBC Communications announces a deal to use Cisco's new class of routers to finish building its nationwide high-speed Web network.

Regional telecommunications giant SBC Communications is using Cisco's new class of routers to finish building its nationwide high-speed Web network, the two companies said Tuesday.

SBC plans to transform itself into a national communications company by mid-2003. By that time, it expects to have a high-speed Web network four times larger than its current one. The company now offers Web and voice services in 13 Western states.

The Cisco 12000 series routers will be directing Web traffic at the core of the network, SBC representative Jason Hillery said. The network will operate at 10 gigabits per second.

Initially, Hillery said, any new services will be directed at business customers--who need the high speed and can afford to pay for it.

But SBC isn't ruling out using the new network to offer landline telephone or cellular voice services in the future, Hillery said. The Cisco routers would allow for that.

Financial terms of the deal between Cisco and SBC were not disclosed.