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AUSTIN-Three companies based here are buying into more real estate on the Information Highway, an ongoing trend in the state’s capital where demand and expansions are racing at high speeds. The collaborations feed recent findings by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University that says Internet use this year has reached record levels by real estate professionals, from transactions to listings.

Vectris Communications, a leading regional provider of Internet and data networking business solutions, is pulling Ohio and Wisconsin into the DSL service area while adding more cities in Kansas and Oklahoma. Vectris initiated its aggressive roll-out in April, taking its services to 92 cities in eight states. By year end, Arkansas and Michigan will be added to the customer base. The company is targeting secondary markets in the central US for its expansion, according to company officials.

Meanwhile, BroadJump Inc. is teaming with Cisco Systems Inc. for a new provisioning solution to automate DSL service and reduce the wait time from ordering through billing processes. BroadJump is a software solutions leader for the intelligent deployment of broadband services.BroadJump intends to integrate its Virtual Truck Installer to Cisco’s Order-to-Service solution–a teaming designed to shave a wait of several weeks to a few days.

In yet another e-business collaboration, Austin-based Broadwing Communications has signed a three-year, $8.7-million contract with Center 7 Inc., a venture capital company of Novell founder Ray Noorda. This collaboration is aimed at providing dedicated, secure IP VPN services, collated web-hosting capabilities and 155-megabytes per second direct-line access.

Center 7 is a privately-held company that designs, develops and delivers business opportunity through the integration of e-business, ERP and enterprise management technologies. The company will be linked to Broadwing’s eClass, which is considered a next-generation, enhanced IP VPN service for fast, reliable and secure data transfer over a single platform. Rick Pontin, Broadwing’s president and COO, says the collaboration gives Center 7 the high-speed bandwidth needed to deliver customized, cutting-edge ASP solutions to customers. The partnership will bring Center 7 collocating web hosting capabilities to Broadwing’s data centers in Salt Lake City and Austin.

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