GTE Blasts Ahead with ADSL Service


GTE Corp.'s GTE Network Services -- the first telco to
introduce high-speed-data services, having done so two years ago -- will end the year
ahead of projected goals for its ADSL services.

As of last week, GTE had upgraded 212 of its 300 targeted
central offices with the equipment needed to offer asymmetrical-digital-subscriber-line
services, with plans to blow past the 300 benchmark before year-end, said Parker
Blackwell, director of advanced business products and services for the telco.

With 300 of GTE's 4,000 central offices upgraded, it
will be offering the services to one-third of its customers, in large markets like Los
Angeles; Seattle; Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; and Tampa Bay, Fla., said Jeff Bolton,
director of GTE's ADSL program.

"This is the first service that I've been
associated with where customers are just demanding that we provide it," Blackwell
said, adding that GTE's customers are "demanding to pay a deposit to be on a
waiting list" for DSL.

But Blackwell and Bolton added that for now, the market is
big enough for both cable and telco high-speed camps, and there is no need to steal
customers from each other.

GTE has run into both @Home Network and Road Runner in its
ADSL markets, but it said its greatest competitor is time.

The telco does have a secret weapon, however: a software
system, developed out of necessity, that can pinpoint every area of GTE's nationwide
telco plant and discern whether it can support ADSL service.

Called "Digital Services Testing System," GTE
Labs' system is an artificial-intelligence technique that ties together data from
labs, customer-premises equipment, protocol analyzers and facilities databases to provide
a snapshot of a particular GTE serving area.