AT&T Beefs Up Corporate DSL Services

BOSTON (07/26/2000) - AT&T Corp. announced Wednesday that it moved the launch of its digital subscriber line (DSL) Internet service out to customers, six months ahead of schedule.

In a related announcement, AT&T also said that it would expand its Internet VPN (virtual private network) services, adding QoS (Quality of Service) and frame relay connectivity to current broadband offerings.

DSL service is available immediately in about 100 metropolitan markets in the U.S. AT&T will offer DSL in two tiers, a US$49.95 service for individual consumers and a $79.95 service for multiple users and small businesses. AT&T will also waive their $300 installation fees until after Sept. 30.

"The new single-user line is at a lower price and faster speed," said spokesman Bill Hoffman. "We've close to doubled the download speed for the $49.95 price point from 384 (384K bits per second) to 608 (608K bps)." Download speed is 1.5M bps for the more expensive professional grade service. Upload speed is 128K bps for the basic service and 384K bps for the professional grade.

The services are being rolled out six months ahead of schedule, Hoffman said.

AT&T also announced it will bundle security services with its DSL services, starting in the fourth quarter of 2000. Users will get a personal firewall -- software which protects an individual's computer from unauthorized access.

Additionally, AT&T plans to provide a managed firewall service for multi-user DSL customers.

Bringing DSL to market quickly, along with its aggressive recent moves into residential cable, will help AT&T draw customers early in the game, before broadband competition makes fast Internet service a low-margin commodity, said Charles Carr, a senior analyst from market research company Dataquest Inc.

"I think the whole cable side of things gave them a speedy entry into the residential market, but not the business market," he said. Moving up release of DSL service "makes sense in a strategic way, going after the broad market. I think they said, 'we need to be there as fast as possible. Broadband is here, we want to get market share, as much as possible."

In a related series of announcements, AT&T said that it will offer DSL access to its frame relay network, and let businesses using frame relay networks connect to AT&T data centers. The company's broadband service will also now be able to integrate IPSec -- which provides cryptographic security services for access control and data integrity -- to VPNs.

In addition, AT&T also announced that it is offering services to IP-enable business' ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) networks, adding QoS features based on MPLS (multi protocol label switching) functionality.

AT&T, based in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, can be reached at +1-908-221-2000 or http://www.att.com/.

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