confirmed it took the spot as top supplier for
five-year, $1.7 billion network expansion plan.
The Paris networking equipment giant said Wednesday that it will provide fiber and Internet protocol infrastructure as SBC extends its fast-line reach further into residential neighborhoods.
Though the selection has been widely anticipated, it seems to have been triggered by a rule clarification by the
Federal Communications Commission
last week. Big telcos such as the Bells --
and SBC -- had expressed reluctance about building high-speed networks if they would be required to share or lease access to rivals. The regulators specified that there would be no such requirement.
Alcatel shares jumped 5% to $13.50 in postclose trading Wednesday.
SBC's project, called "Lightspeed," promises to extend fiber to equipment offices and cabinets deep inside communities so the telco can offer advanced digital services such as TV programming, video on demand, Net access and phone service over the Internet.