Pricing Breakthrough: US West Lowers Cost of DSL

Everyone keeps telling us that the world will be different when we all have fast cheap access to the Internet. Well US West brought that dream one step closer to reality when it disclosed plans for a new MegaBit Select new digital subscriber line (DSL) Internet access service that doesn't cost anymore than standard dial-up services. Hopefully nationwide ISPs and other RBOCs will follow suit with similar services.

Under the US West plan, users will be able to connect to the Internet at up to 256K bit/sec with US West's new DSL service. But there is one hitch. Unlike other DSL services which are essentially always on, MegaBit Select service is available only on demand, says Matt Rotter, executive director of MegaBit services at US West.

The service lets "recreational Internet users" set up two-hour sessions before they are dropped. But users can set up any number of two hour-sessions per day, Rotter says. The service, is available in Seattle, Tacoma, Wash., and Portland, Org. for $20 per monthUS West's other DSL service, MegaBit Deluxe, which is $30 per month, lets users stay connected to the 'Net all the time. US West expects to deploy MegaBit Select to 40 additional cities in its northwestern region by year-end.

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