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Do-it-yourself DSL installation
(IDG) -- SBC Communications has made a move that could boost the rollout of DSL: having customers install the service themselves.
SBC is introducing a self-install kit that makes it easier for SBC to get the customer's phone line tuned-up to handle DSL.
Customers are required to set up the DSL modem, install passive filters on phone lines, load software on their PCs and, if necessary, install an Ethernet network interface card.
The company claims average installation time is about 1 hour. A help desk is available seven days a week.
The service is available in only part of its territory, including the original SBC region in the mid-West and Texas. California, Nevada and Connecticut. It does not include the former Ameritech region.
The self-install kit is available for PCs running Windows 95 and 98 and is only for SBC's Basic DSL service, which is capable of a maximum 1.5M bit/sec downloads.
Later this year, it will be available for Windows 2000, Windows NT, Linux and Macintosh operating systems and SBC's Enhanced DSL service, which runs at the same speed, but comes with five static IP addresses.
The service has a guaranteed downstream rate of 384K bit/sec between customer sites and the switching office that serves customer sites. Actual download speeds from Web sites depend on the speed of connections between the switching office and the Web sites.
At the end of the first quarter of 2000, SBC said it had 201,000 DSL lines in service. It says it will have one million in service by year-end.
Is DSL worth the hassle?
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