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MCI bundles broadband Net with voice

The telecom carrier partners with the broadband company Covad Communications to provide high-speed Internet services to its subscribers.

MCI on Tuesday signed an agreement with broadband service company Covad Communications to provide high-speed Internet services to its subscribers.

The deal will enable the carrier to extend its service footprint and allow it to bundle its local and long-distance voice services with Covad's Internet services.

The two companies will use a technology called "line splitting" in conjunction with the unbundled network element platform (UNE-P), as defined by the Federal Communication Commission. In this process, access to the residential line is "split" between Covad and a competitive voice provider.

About 10 million UNE-P lines are in service, a number that's expected to double by 2005, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Covad said in a statement.

MCI will have access to Covad's nationwide network, which covers 1,800 central offices and serves more than 40 million subscribers in 35 states. The companies did not say when the new service would be available or what the pricing would be.

Covad recently signed a deal with AT&T to provide broadband services to AT&T customers.