Beyond.com To Sell High Speed Internet Access

In an effort to maximize its customers’ ability to download products quickly and efficiently, Internet software retailer Beyond.com (Nasdaq: BYND) will market digital subscriber line (DSL) service from NorthPoint Communications (Nasdaq: NPNT) on its Web site.

Beyond.com will add a link from its site to NorthPoint’s DSL service qualification tool, which will help visitors determine which type and speed of DSL service they need and then place an order for that service. NorthPoint claims that its DSL service can accelerate downloads from the typical 56K speeds of current telephone modems to 1.5 Mbps.

Such speed is particularly useful, Beyond.com says, for software downloads that tend to consist of files that are several megabytes in size.

Price, Speed, Convenience

Beyond.com, which offers software for sale through the mail and via downloads, claims that many of its customers are now opting to download their purchases because of price, speed and convenience.

Downloads also circumvent delivery delays and excess charges, and are environmentally friendly. “DSL expedites the download experience, giving customers even more reason to download software off of our site,” Beyond.com president Mark Breier said.

Beyond.com, which offers 1.6 million software products and digital images for download, uses a proprietary digital download system with special features such as voice-assisted messages to guide customers through the download process, software icons that appear directly on the desktop after the download is complete, and the ability to recover the download after the computer crashes or loses its Internet connection.

With NorthPoint DSL service, the last problem may be permanently resolved, since DSL is an always-on Internet access service that never has to be connected or disconnected by the computer.

DSL Rapidly Expanding

NorthPoint’s DSL network reaches more than 1,100 cities and towns in 32 major metropolitan areas. The company plans to offer service to more than 60 major markets by the end of next year, and will pass nearly 45 percent of U.S. homes and more than half of the country’s businesses.

Beyond.com ranks second in Forrester Research’s Power Rankings of the top five online software retailers, trailing only Outpost.com.

The company ranks ahead of Buy.com, CDW and egghead.com.

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