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Narad Networks hopes to give its commercial broadband over cable plans a big boost following a new alliance with IBM.

Under terms of the deal, IBM and Narad will team on an open standards-based architecture designed to give cable operators an easy way to offer broadband services to small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).

The companies claim that the forthcoming platform will enable operators to offer IT services at speeds of up to 100 megabits per second over existing cable lines. The companies also believe their combined technology will provide a framework for commercial-class services and applications such as high-speed data, virtual private networks, leased-line services and managed storage.

The alliance was also forged to build future business opportunities by leveraging IBM's PowerPC chips, embedded software and the resale of Big Blue's hardware and software portfolio, the companies said.

"Narad is enabling a fundamental shift from in-house IT services to outsourced IT services," said Narad CEO Dev Gupta. "These services will drive demand in the SMB market, just as premium channels have done in the cable market."

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