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U.S., Canada to connect faster

UUNet says the speeds of its Internet connections between the U.S. and Canada will more than triple next month.

UUNet Technologies (UUNT) will launch new superfast connections from Canada to the United States later next month, the latest example of Internet providers meeting the demand for high-speed Net access in industrial markets.

According to Richard Cantin, vice president of marketing for UUNet Canada, the three new connections will link Vancouver to Seattle; Toronto to Buffalo, New York; and Montreal to New York City through an OC3, or optical carrier line.

The OC3 line will offer Internet transmissions at 155 mbps. In comparison, the connections that UUNet currently offer from Canada to the United States are 45 mbps.

Although other carriers offer links at comparable speeds, UUNet contends that its links still offer the fastest connection because they are used only for Internet data, not for voice or video transmissions.

"There are other companies going north to south, but they use [their links] for more than just Internet. The amount of bandwidth left for IP communications is considerably less," Cantin said.

Canadians will reap the majority of the benefit from these lines, because much more traffic goes south to the United States than north. However, UUNet believes that the lines will be appealing to any American company that does business in Canada.

"There is a huge benefit to a company that has offices in Canada being able to connect their companies," Cantin added. "You can now come through our network and have no bottlenecks and a lot smoother transmission."

UUNet parent WorldCom (WCOM) has been on an acquisition binge to build its Internet backbone. Last week, for example, the company announced a $30 billion bid for MCI Communications, one of the world's largest backbone providers. The bid comes on the heels of WorldCom's $2.5 billion buyout of CompuServe's and America Online's vast business networks.

The new OC3 connections will be in place and available to UUNet customers by the end of November.