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Telcos Triple Play With Next Level

Three more Telcos have purchased Next Level's Full Service Access platform to deliver broadband services including DTV, high-speed Internet and voice services over existing telephone lines.

Minnesota-based CLEC KMTelecom will offer video services to 1,000 customers initially with future plans to expand to the remainder of its service area. It will also use Next Level's very-high-speed-digital subscriber line (VDSL) technology to compete with MediaCom for DTV consumers.

"We need to serve three different TV's simultaneously to be competitive, and that requires VDSL," says Mary Ehmke, general manager of KMTelecom. "With this bundle of services, we really feel we can compete with MediaCom -- our business model with video is a lot stronger than our business model without it."

Pennsylvania-based Venus Telephone Corp. will use the equipment to provide DTV to 1,500 customers in northwestern Penn. and high-speed Internet to other markets, expanding to DTV services later in 2003.

Venus hopes to ultimately provide a full bundle of voice, video and data, but for now, "the platform [is able] to immediately benefit our customers by providing high-speed Internet services while we formulate our video plans," says John Keister GM and VP of operations at Venus. "The Next Level platform provides us a future-proof way ... to grow as we grow."

Michigan's Allendale Telephone Co. purchased Next Level equipment to deliver voice and data services to their customers after surveying current setups in Minn., Ohio and Ill.

Next Level now serves 113 telco customers in 38 different U.S. states.