Ill. phone company offers new high-speed network Plan seeks to lure large businesses

August 21, 1991|By New York Times News Service

WASHINGTON -- Hoping to lure more big-business customers away from traditional local telephone companies, a small Illinois company announced plans yesterday to offer high-speed communications "superhighways" in several cities that are far faster than telephone lines now available.

The new networks are being installed over the next year by Metropolitan Fiber Systems Inc., which is based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., and owns fiber-optic lines that serve big business customers in 11 cities.

The new lines employ advanced switching equipment that will NTC allow them to carry up to 100 million bits of data a second. In contrast, the fastest lines now available from local phone companies carry 45 million bits a second.

Yesterday's announcement marks a new stage in the competition for high-volume customers. The new services give Metropolitan Fiber a jump on the Bell companies.

The high-speed lines are intended to serve companies that exchange huge volumes of data over local computer networks. Potential customers include researchers communicating with university-based supercomputers, hospital systems that obtain medical-imaging data over phone lines and companies that operate networks of computer workstations in different parts of a city.

Royce J. Holland, president and chief executive of Metropolitan Fiber, said the company had completed work on its first system in Houston. Baltimore will be among 10 other cities served by his company within 12 months.

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