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Networking

Best Buy to sell AT&T's Internet phone service

Telephone giant partners with electronics retailer to market voice over Internet Protocol.

AT&T on Monday named Best Buy retail partner for its Internet telephony service.

Best Buy will sell AT&T's residential voice over Internet protocol service through 628 stores nationwide as well as online, beginning this fall, the companies said. The two companies will jointly promote the CallVantage service through in-store marketing and advertising in print, broadcast and online media.

The Net telephony service includes local and long-distance domestic calling, call waiting, three-way calling and call forwarding. The initial package includes a telephone adapter compatible with home networks and routers. The service works with most cable modem or digital subscriber line broadband connections, AT&T said.

With the growing popularity of VoIP and higher broadband penetration, AT&T has collaborated with cable companies such as Comcast and Time Warner to market its Net telephony service. Such deals could help cable companies and AT&T to score over their local phone competitors. An estimated 600,000 subscribers in the United States use commercial Net telephony, in which calls travel over the Internet instead of traditional phone lines and are much cheaper.

"This is one of a series of retail agreements we intend to announce that will make AT&T CallVantage Service more widely and conveniently available to as many consumers as possible," Cathy Martine, AT&T senior vice president for Internet Telephony, Consumer Marketing and Sales, said in a statement.