Covad, Riverstone Boost DSL Products


Two developments in the digital-subscriber-line world may stiffen competition
for cable operators.

First, competitive DSL provider Covad Communications Co. has forged an
agreement to provide wholesale DSL services to national provider Sprint

Under the agreement, Covad will provide DSL access for Sprint's business
customers in select markets beginning in the third quarter. The deal will almost
double Sprint's market coverage for enterprise DSL services.

Covad will supply symmetrical and asymmetrical DSL connections, as well as
IDSL (integrated services digital network DSL) and Covad's recently introduced
T-1 links.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Riverstone Networks Inc., meanwhile, announced
improvements to its multicast technology to make it easier to deliver video,
interactive TV and streaming media over DSL lines.

Using Internet Group Management Protocol, Riverstone's new routers can
accomplish channel changes in as little as 40 milliseconds -- well under the
maximum acceptable rate of 500 milliseconds.

It already has a customer in Texas telecommunications company Livingston
Telephone Co., which is deploying video service, including interactive TV,
video-on-demand, pay-per-view and gaming.