Intel, SBC Form Small Biz Service Pact

Thursday Feb 26th 2004 by SmallBusinessComputing.com Staff
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What happens when a regional telecommunications company and leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications gear get together? SMBs in 13-states get a new way to procure high-capacity digital services.

A T1 is a high-speed digital connection operating at 1.544 megabits per second. In telecom speak a T1 is synonymous with a DS1. The technology was first developed by AT&T in 1957 and implemented in the early 1960's as a way to network long-haul voice systems together. The development of DS1 connections allowed telephone companies to digitize voice services and abandon an aging analog telephone system.

Eventually, personal computers came along and networking evolved into the digital communication systems we know today — a technology that treats voice and data the same way as it traverses the backbone of the Internet.

No matter what you call it — T1 or DS1 — the technology provides a cost-effective way for business of all shapes and sizes to link voice and data services together. However, provisioning this type of high-speed leased-line service has not changed very much — it's still a complex process that can be very intimidating for small businesses setting up their first computer networks.

The delicate complexity of leased-line provisioning and gateway routing is what brought SBC Communications together with Intel. The third largest telephone company in the U.S. and the world's largest chip maker this week joined forces to deliver DS1 connectivity services to small- and medium-sized businesses.

SBC and Intel have agreed to promote and sell SBC Yahoo! DSL Business Edition and SBC Digital Services through the Intel Product Dealer Channel, one of the largest value-added reseller programs in the country.

Intel Product Dealers are now authorized to sell SBC Yahoo! DSL and SBC DS1 point-to-point dedicated services in SBC's 13-state service area. Intel Product Dealers get to broaden their service portfolio of business solutions as a result of the deal, and SBC gets another way to market its high-speed Internet connectivity services to small- and medium-sized companies.

John Davies, Intel vice president of sales and marketing group, said the new working relationship with SBC is a boon for Intel's dealer community and small businesses alike.

"SBC Yahoo! DSL Business Edition and DS1 services, combined with Intel-based computing and communication devices, bring small businesses the technology and infrastructure they need to get connected and be more competitive," Davies said.

Chuck Rudnick, SBC business marketing senior vice president, said partnering with Intel is proof-positive that SBC is actively extending its commitment to serving small business customers.

"Intel Product Dealers are delivering SBC Yahoo! DSL Business Edition and SBC DS1 services to a substantial number of small and medium businesses in our regions, providing them with the flexibility to choose from a range of tools that help them grow and succeed," Rudnick said.

SBC Yahoo! DSL Business Edition is a broadband service and online portal developed primarily for small- and medium-sized companies. The services are all about increasing workplace productivity, which includes e-mail, file storage and security systems designed to enhance small-business communications tools. Currently, SBC Yahoo! DSL is available for about $30 a month when new users sign up for a one-year term of service.

SBC DS1 provides growing businesses with the ability to support data-intensive traffic. It delivers a high-speed, digital, dedicated connection to the Internet that is capable of supporting voice and data traffic, as well as high-bandwidth applications such as videoconferencing. A DS1 connection allows about 20 people to access a network that provides both voice and data applications. If only Internet access is required, a DS1 can handle about 200 users.

For a limited time, Intel Product Dealers are offering small-business customers a free Netopia 3546 Business-Class ADSL (define) Gateway with the purchase of this particular SBC service. Pricing and setup fees vary from state-to-state. A one-time setup fee could be anywhere from $300 to $1,000 and monthly recurring charges range from $399 to $899. Usually, the longer the term of service, the lower the monthly fee.

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