GCI: Buy TV, Get Data Free

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Alaskan cable and telecom company GCI Inc. is offering its customers free cable-modem service if they subscribe to its cable TV and local and long- distance phone services.

The free LiteSpeed cable-modem service offers download speeds of just 64 Kilobits per second, much slower than the premium high-speed data services from MSOs such as Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable, which boast speeds of up to 3 Mgabits per second.

But GCI said it is targeting the slower cable-modem service to customers who use dial-up Internet service providers, which offer maximum speeds of 56 kbps.

GCI is also pitching customers a LiteSpeed Plus service that offers speeds up to 128 Kbps in addition to 5 Mb of Web space and two-email addresses. That package costs $24.99 per month for GCI customers who also buy its long-distance service. The company also offers other high-speed data packages that offer speeds up to 2.4 Mpbs.