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RealTime IT News

SBC Gets 'Personal' With DSL

SBC Communications officials announced Wednesday the launch this fall of digital subscriber line (DSL) service aimed at both dial-up Internet users and high-end consumer needs.

The goal, SBC officials said, is to provide a "personalized" DSL experience for all types of consumers and small businesses. That experience will "meet virtually every need, every budget and every application," said Ray Wilkins, SBC sales and marketing group president.

Prices won't be announced until the promotion begins this fall, but Fletcher Cook, an SBC spokesperson, said the DSL Basic Package (with a top download speed of 384 Kbps/128 Mbps upload speed) will be priced in the mid-$30 to mid-$40 range.

"We're trying to make an offering that's compelling for the dial-up customers, to bridge that gap, not only with affordable pricing but with a product where they don't necessarily need a 1.5 Mbps bandwidth, 384 Mbps might just be perfect for them," he said. "We're trying to find a price point and offering that suits their needs."

Cook also said the launch will be accompanied with an "aggressive" promotion on DSL modem and activation fees.

The current asymmetric DSL (ADSL) service, which will be called the DSL Standard Package, will remain the same at $49.95 for 384 Kbps -1.5 Mbps download/128 Kbps upload speeds. A new package, for bandwidth-hungry consumers, will range between 768 Mbps to 1.5 Mbps download and 256 Kbps upload.

The three packages will all use dynamic IP addresses.

Three DSL offerings have been targeted at the SOHO and small business customer, featuring five static IP addresses and ADSL speeds ranged similarly to the consumer packages, though the high-end ADSL service features speeds from 1.5-6 Mbps download speeds. Cook said a symmetric DSL (SDSL) service isn't in the works because SBC feels the upload speeds up to 384 Kbps is more than enough for most businesses.

Availability of a particular DSL package is dependent on the customers distance from the telephone company's central office and remote terminal, and whether DSL service is available in the community.