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Cisco Introduces Order-to-Service DSL System

It is no secret that ordering DSL these days can be a trying experience for the consumer, but Cisco Systems (http://www.cisco.com) has designed an automated process that is designed to cut the average time a consumer must wait for DSL activation down from several weeks to a few days. The end-to-end solution will operate on any Cisco DSL network, and was designed in conjunction with BroadJump, Portal Software, Quintessent Communications and Turnstone Systems. The integrated system is currently in testing, and is expected to be available commercially in the 4th quarter of this year.

Quintessent's software, DSLXchange, will pre-qualify the subscriber, the loop, and the availability of the network infrastructure, including the DSL Access Multiplexer (DSLAM) equipment. Upon receiving the customer's order, Quintessent will qualify that DSL service is possible for the consumer's physical address based on distance from the central office and any potential disruptions to the line such as bridge taps.

A spokesman for Quintessent stated, "Frequently, a customer is told that they are elgible for DSL service, and then at the last step of the process their provider realizes that their line is not viable because of a bridge tap." This type of delay frustrates the customer, and is causing telcos to loose money.

Once the line has been qualified, Quintessent's software breaks the order apart based upon which company actually owns the required portion of the network, and sends out the work orders/ service requests to these companies. The Telco will still need to send a truck out and manually provision the line with ATM and qualify the loop.

Turnstone Systems' cross connect manager then facilitates the connectivity to the consumer's home. BroadJump's software qualifies the consumer's PC for DSL and automatically configures it over the Internet, eliminating the need for a truck roll. Once all is complete, the process notifies Portal's customer management system to commence the billing cycle. Quintessent's research estimates that it currently costs about $1500 to provision a DSL line today, whereas under this system of automation the cost is potentially reduced to $50.

Cisco is hoping that this system will prompt service providers to use an all Cisco network, although several service providers currently operate a hybrid network. Cisco's partners in this venture do not have exclusive contracts, and it is possible that other major manufacturers, such as Nortel and Lucent, will introduce similar automated systems.

Graphic provided by Quintessent

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