MCI's dial-up customers in 280 cities will be offered 56-kbps access, with the number expanding to 300 by the end of this month.
MCI will deploy the x2 technology from 3Com in its rollout. Last month, AT&T also launched x2 technology from 3Com, but it plans to extend its service to users of Rockwell and Lucent Technologies' K56flex technology by year's end.
"As more consumers use the Internet as an everyday resource, they will increasingly need greater access speeds," said David Trachtenberg, director of MCI Internet.
x2 modems compete with K56flex technology developed by Rockwell and Lucent Technologies. x2 initially was developed by U.S. Robotics, but the company since has been acquired by 3Com.