BellSouth Offers "DSL Lite" - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/09/03

BellSouth Offers "DSL Lite"

 

You see the ads all the time for broadband internet access, promising lightning-fast downloads. But then you see the price tag...DSL and cable internet access don't come cheap. BellSouth has invested a lot to spread DSL service in our area, and now they're trying to attract more subscribers with a new service, dubbed DSL Lite, that's not as fast as broadband, but then it's not quite as expensive either.

"DSL does not tie up your phone line," said BellSouth regional director Kevin Curtin. "It uses your phone line, but you can still receive and make calls on that line while surfing the internet at the same time."

Simply put, the phone company splits the phone line into two channels at the source, one for voice, and one for data. Each of thousands of wires at a local central office is assigned to a phone number. For DSL subscribers, a second channel is added on a separate rack for computer data, and special hardware blends the two so they can travel over the same phone line.

The problem is distance...the DSL signal is only effective for about 18,000 feet. There are about 30 remote DSL sites around Savannah that extend the reach of the central office. BellSouth technicians install the same DSL hardware there. The DSL signal is then piggybacked on the dial tone from the remote site, from where it can travel another 18,000 feet.

And now, if you want to try a taste of the service for less money, BellSouth is offering DSL Lite. As Curtin describes it, "This is five times faster than a 56K modem, and less expensive than the DSL product we've had available for about two years."

And as the hardware continues to go in, it may already be available in your neighborhood. Prices vary depending on your phone service package, but DSL Lite runs about $10 cheaper than full DSL, and the company hopes those still sitting on the fence on broadband service will give the "lite" version a try. For more information, visit BellSouth's Fast Access site.

Reported by: Charles Gray, cgray@wtoc.com

 

 

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