RealTime IT News

MCI Plans Nationwide DSL Launch

Digital Subscriber Line technology, which so far has only been rolled out in small pockets of the United States, got a big boost Thursday in its battle with cable companies to win the high-speed Internet access market.

MCI WorldCom Thursday announced it will offer DSL service at 400 points of presence by the end of the year. More than 1,000 POPs will have the service by the end of 1999. The service will debut first in major cities such as New York, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. The company will offer plans for consumers as well as small businesses.

Speaking at Comdex in Las Vegas, John Sidgmore, chief executive officer of MCI WorldCom, said the rollout is an effort to satisfy Internet users' growing need for more bandwidth. He estimated demand for bandwidth is currently increasing by 1,000 percent a year.

"We've bet the ranch on the Internet. We think that the winner in the Internet will be the winner in the entire communications industry for many, many years," he said.

MCI's announcement comes as some of the biggest Internet providers and online services are planning rollouts of their own. America Online Inc. and EarthLink Networks have both announced plans to begin DSL trials before year's end.