IBiz In DSL Deal With NorthPoint - InformationWeek

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IBiz In DSL Deal With NorthPoint

It's not just the big computer makers that are joining forces with telecom providers. A day after Compaq announced a $500 million alliance with Cable & Wireless PLC, iBiz Technology Corp., a $4.5 million Phoenix manufacturer of small-footprint desktops for the financial-services industry, said today it has secured a contract to resell digital subscriber line services from NorthPoint Communications.

IBiz executives say that, regardless of size, computer makers must increasingly strike alliances with communications providers if they are to remain competitive. "It's the only direction hardware manufacturers can possibly go if they are going to stay profitable, because the profit continues to deteriorate," says Ken Schilling, president and CEO of iBiz. Schilling adds that he expects the deal to generate "substantial" revenue for his company, which is listed on the OTC exchange, but declined to be more specific.

Under the agreement, iBiz will purchase time on NorthPoint's DSL network at bulk rate, reselling to its customers in the Phoenix area. Schilling says iBiz will expand the program regionally and nationally as NorthPoint brings its services to more markets throughout the country.

NorthPoint is in the middle of an expansion plan it says will put its services within reach of 50% of U.S. businesses by the end of next year. Those plans could get a boost from a ruling issued Thursday by the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC said local phone carriers must share existing lines with data carriers such as NorthPoint. Previously, NorthPoint customers would have had to order a second line from their local carrier to receive the company's services.

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