BellSouth Ends Year on DSL High Note


BellSouth Corp. surpassed its digital-subscriber-line goal for 2001,
announcing Thursday that it had 620,500 customers at year-end.

That total exceeded its subscriber target of 600,000.

The company saw a huge run-up with 157,000 fourth-quarter additions, in sharp
contrast to DSL-contraction talk from Qwest Communications International Inc.
and SBC Communications Inc.

'We're very pleased,' said Ralph de la Vega, outgoing president of
BellSouth's broadband and Internet-services group. 'It's the best quarter we've
ever had.'

He attributed the growth to several factors, including 'simplifying the
ordering and installation process.'

The company also saw a spurt of traffic due to its free modem and
one-month-free offer, he added.

And the regional Bell operating company 'probably did get a little bit of a
lift' from the problems associated with Excite@Home Corp., he said.

BellSouth said 70 percent of its customers can now receive DSL service.

De la Vega said the company remains on track to reach its year-end-2002
targets of 1.1 million subscribers and 76 percent DSL