RealTime IT News

Covad Puts Broadband StartUp Kit in Consumer Hands

High speed Internet provider Covad Communications intends to hook-up a virtual hotshot to bring more users to broadband connectivity via its services.

The company is pitching a three-step self-installation kit to users that it hopes will secure a place for it in the consumer marketplace -- which is being heavily courted by large telecommunication companies like Verizon and AT&T.

Typically, a DSL technician is required to hook-up a new consumer. Now, once a DSL order is placed and approved through an affiliated Internet or broadband service provider, or at Covad's Web site, a DSL JumpStart kit will be shipped to the customer's home within approximately ten days.

Covad said the 30 minute installation process would include jerry rigging a consumer's house by attaching DSL blockers to every telephone; connecting the DSL modem to the computer; and installing software that would automatically connect the consumer to the Internet.

In a statement, Eric Moyer, director of consumer product marketing for Covad, said "The DSL JumpStart Kit enables Covad to offer a consumer broadband solution that eliminates the associated costs, time and hassle of sending a DSL technician to a consumer's home."

The DSL JumpStart Kit is currently available through Speakeasy.net. Within the next few weeks, the company said additional Internet and broadband service providers affiliated with Covad, such as Juno, AT&T and Prodigy would be offering the kit.

A spokesperson for the company told InternetNews.com that pricing would vary based on which Internet Service Provider (ISP) offered it. The price would hover around $250, the spokesperson said.

Whether consumers are willing to spend that amount depends on the whether the allure of DSL connectivity sways users to pay the hook-up cost. The company faces a significant hurdle: Many consumers still don't have broadband access in their neighborhoods.

But for those who do, the possibility of surfing the Internet while simultaneously chatting on the phone may assign on-foot technicians to other tasks -- at least if Covad has its way.