America Online said Thursday it plans to employ SBC’s DSL as a premium upgrade this fall for
in regions where SBC companies Pacific Bell and Southwestern Bell provide
DSL service, including
California, Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas. Also included
is Nevada Bell, which will launch DSL service later this year.
SBC’s DSL upgrade will provide eligible AOL users with high-speed
bandwidth to their personal
computers over existing telephone wires. SBC’s DSL access will allow AOL
members to connect to the Internet at speeds up to 1.5mbps, more than 50
times faster than with a standard 28.8 kbps. analog modem.
Currently SBC has connected the DSL service to 2 million homes, and the
company expects to expand DSL availability to 8.4 million homes by
the end of 1999.
America Online said it will announce pricing for SBC’s DSL upgrade upon
launch. It is expected that the DSL upgrade will cost AOL members $20 extra
“SBC is moving fast to meet customer demand for bandwidth. Our agreement
with AOL to provide DSL
through its powerful distribution channel is yet another step we’re taking
to make high-speed Internet
access available and affordable to customers,” said Royce Caldwell,
president of SBC Operations.
“Working together, SBC and AOL will make DSL upgrades affordable
and convenient for our members in California, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri,
Arkansas, Kansas and
Nevada, and combined with AOL’s DSL agreement with Bell Atlantic announced
in January, will allow AOL
to offer our members DSL upgrades in 21 states,” said Bob Pittman,
America Online’s president and chief operating officer.
The agreement is subject to FCC review of ADSL tariffs that Pacific Bell and
Southwestern Bell will file for volume purchasers.