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MCI building bigger pipeline

MCI is building a custom Net pipeline to provide high-speed access to Microsoft's Web site.

MCI (MCIC) today said it is building a custom Internet "pipeline," the first commercial OC-12 connection, to enable Microsoft's Web site data to travel to users' desktops at high speeds.

Microsoft's Web sites are among the most heavily visited on the Web, but some users complain that it takes too long to access the sites, particularly at peak times.

The MCI facility in Canyon Park, Washington, will house all servers for public Microsoft Web sites, such as, the Microsoft Network, and MSNBC. Microsoft moves nearly 15 terabytes of traffic each week from its sites in Bellevue, Washington, London and Tokyo. Traffic has been doubling every six months.

MCI handles an estimated 60 percent to 70 percent of Microsoft's Internet traffic.

MCI will complete the most recent upgrade to its network later this month, doubling its standard of 622 megabits per second to carry data between POPs at 1.2 gigabits per second.

The company's Internet backbone is considered one of its most prized assets. GTE, WorldCom, and British Telecom all are currently in a bidding war to buy MCI, largely fueled by deregulation and the strategy of bundling telecommunications services such as long-distance and local phone, and Internet access to provide one-stop shopping.