Prodigy Services Co has outsourced the maintenance of its entire network in the US in a bid to cut costs. The White Plains, New York internet service provider wouldn’t say how much it is going to save annually by paying Texas-based SplitRock Services Inc to manage its 500 or so connection points across the country, but said it would save on the amount it paid for connection times and there are also built-in caps so that once traffic reaches a certain level, Prodigy doesn’t pay for bandwidth used above that level. Some 50 Prodigy employees will move to the SplitRock payroll as part of the deal, but no Prodigy jobs will be lost, says the company. The new SplitRock employees will remain in Prodigy’s Yorktown Heights, New York national support center, which along with billing and marketing will be just about all Prodigy will be handling in its role as a consumer and corporate ISP. SplitRock will be upgrading Prodigy’s network to asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) over time and it will be able to carry high-quality voice services; we understand Prodigy is planning to offer internet telephony in the coming months. The network will also feature 56kbps modems at all its access points within six months, says Prodigy. SplitRock will use this deal as an anchor for its plans to become a network provider for second and third tier ISPs – Prodigy is the fourth largest in the country in terms of subscribers. It will offer to offer the network to smaller ISPs. Prodigy built its network in the 1980s and last upgraded from leased line circuit-switched network to frame relay about two years ago. The company had begun to convert its dial-in points to digital from analog, but this move will see that process complete by the year-end, according to the ISP.
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