BellSouth Corp. became the latest provider to delve into the budget broadband
market, unveiling a lower-speed digital-subscriber-line offering priced at $35
"FastAccess DSL Lite" is being marketed to dial-up customers who want an
always-on connection but not necessarily blazing broadband speed.
Offered only to customers who take other BellSouth services, such as voice,
DSL Lite will provide an always-on connection at up to 256 kilobits per second
downstream and 128 kbps upstream, depending on the customer’s proximity to the
nearest central office.
That is a sizable throughput drop compared with BellSouth’s standard
"FastAccess" service, which offers a maximum of 1.5 megabits per second up and
256 kbps down for $45.
The service includes up to five electronic-mail boxes and 10 megabytes of
personal Web storage space. But it does not include parental controls or a
security firewall unless customers pay an additional $6.95 monthly.
A promotion now in play offers new customers a free modem and activation, a
$50 rebate for orders placed online and choice of either a kids’-content, games
or video-service package.
BellSouth’s move marks the latest broadband salvo fired by the telcos. This
past spring, Verizon Communications dropped the price for its DSL service to
$34.95, while SBC Communications Inc. recently extended its promotion through
Sept. 30, offering DSL service at $29.95 monthly for one year.