RealTime IT News

SBC Plans Broad ADSL Rollout

SBC Communications Tuesday became the latest regional telephone company to announce a widescale Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line rollout.

The company is planning to upgrade 526 central offices serving 8.2 million residential customers and 1.3 million businesses with new equipment to offer ADSL by the end of the year. SBC said its pricing plans would start at $39.

In California alone, SBC plans to triple its ADSL deployment to serve more than 70 percent of its customers. By the end of the year, 5 million residential customers and 900,000 businesses in the state will be ADSL ready.

SNET, a SBC-owned telco serving Connecticut, also plans to start ADSL trials by the end of the month

SNET will kick off the trial Jan. 21 offering ADSL service to customers in New Haven, Bristol and Waterbury, Conn., with two other towns to be named later.

The Connecticut trial will occur in phases. Initially, SNET will analyze its network to ensure it is capable of offering ADSL. It will then implement the systems necessary to provide the service and explore ways to expand the service's availability. During the trial, SNET will take feedback from customers and use that to finalize its offerings and prices.

Edward Whitacre Jr., SBC's chairman and chief executive officer, said SBC is moving quickly to offer the service because it believes its customers prefer ADSL over cable modems or other high-speed alternatives.

"We believe that ADSL will become the preferred high-speed Internet access technology for our customers. Customers who want to download data from the Internet or connect to their office networks from home will appreciate our widely available service, attractive prices and the highly reliable and secure service we will provide over our proven networks," he said.