AT&T is starting to bring competitive services to the local market with the debut yesterday of local asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) services, its Transparent LAN service, and new service level agreements for ATM and frame relay.
The local ATM service will provide customers with an end-to-end ATM offering. "Customers will have one contract, one bill, and a single point of contact for customer care for their local and long distance ATM," says Kristine Demareski, AT&T local packet services product director. Initially, AT&T expects customers in the health care, financial services, government, and education markets to use the ATM service.
The Transparent LAN service will convert Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Token Ring, and Fiber Distributed Data Interface traffic to ATM traffic using an AT&T-supplied LAN-to-ATM Concentrator at the customer premises. It is aimed at customers who are not ready to invest in ATM equipment.
The two ATM services are available immediately in Los Angeles; Oakland, Calif.; Phoenix; and Portland, Oregon. They will be available in Baltimore; Boston; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver; Detroit; Hartford, Conn.; Houston; Kansas City, Mo.; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; St. Louis; Sacramento, Calif.; San Francisco; and Tampa by April 1. They will be available in Milwaukee, Nashville, New York, and Orlando, Fla., by May 1. Fifteen more locations will be added in the third quarter.
The new AT&T Service Level Agreements cover national and local ATM and frame relay-to-ATM interworking. With the SLAs, AT&T will provide a 100% credit against a discounted monthly port or virtual private circuit charge, if AT&T fails to provision an ATM or frame relay circuit by an agreed-upon-date, or doesn't restore a service outage within four hours. If there is a round-trip delay of more than 120 milliseconds, and AT&T cannot fix the delay in 30 days, customers will receive a 100% credit against the monthly permanent virtual circuit charge.
AT&T is guaranteeing that 99.99% of the data will be delivered within the committed information rate, or if the problem is not fixed within 30 days, AT&T will provide a 100% credit against the discounted monthly charge for the affected permanent virtual circuits.
AT&T is also promising customers' network will be available at least 99.99% of the time each month, or customers receive up to 20% of their total network PVC charges commensurate with network size.