Covad combines wireless with Internet access

Covad is teaming up with Netopia to provide Wi-Fi plus broadband access as part of a single service to people working out of their homes.

Covad is teaming up with Netopia to provide Wi-Fi plus broadband access as part of a single service to people working out of their homes.

Covad will sell customers a Netopia DSL modem that includes a wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) gateway they can configure all at once to set up wireless home offices.

A wizard for customers setting up the devices is part of the service, called Wireless Network Solution. The service also includes Covad technical support for the wireless LAN as well as the DSL Internet access part of the service.

The Netopia 3347W ADSL gateways support the IEEE 802.11b wireless standard, include a four-port Ethernet switch for wired LAN devices and cost $159 if bought through the service. Covad also sells compatible PCMCIA wireless cards for $20.

With 802.11b support, customers can expect coverage for a 300-foot radius and bandwidth up to 11M bit/sec. Customers will have to make sure other wireless devices in their offices don't use the same wireless bandwidth to avoid disruption of their connection to the wireless gateway.

The wireless connection between the gateway and wireless devices is protected by Wired Equivalent Protection security.

Wireless Network Solution is available now nationwide through Covad directly or via value-added resellers affiliated with Covad and Speakeasy Broadband, a Covad strategic wholesale partner.

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