WASHINGTON (07/05/2000) - SBC Communications Inc. is offering broadband-hungry customers who are willing to do the work of a technician a faster route to DSL (digital subscriber line) service.
SBC announced Wednesday the availability of a self-install kit containing a DSL modem, filters, software and a network interface card for home users feeling tech savvy enough to take on the job.
Customers will be able to use the kits to insert special filters into analog phone jacks in their homes to filter out the DSL signal. Currently, customers who order DSL have to wait for a technician to come to their homes and install a splitter on the phone line, said Kristen Childress, a spokeswoman for SBC.
The special filters are key to the self-install process because they eliminate the need for the splitter.
"The filters are very small boxes, like pill boxes, that you plug into the phone line to separate voice from data," Childress said. "Then it's a matter of installing software and plugging in the modem."
The installation process takes about one hour and will save customers the usual US$99 installation charge, Childress said. The company will switch on DSL service within 10 days of the customer's request for the kit and begin billing from the activation date, she added.
Initially, SBC is making self-install an option only for basic DSL Internet service customers and only for those using Windows 95 and Windows 98. The basic service provides an Internet connection of up to 1.5M-bps (bits per second) downstream and 128K-bps upstream. The downstream speed varies depending on the distance to the central office.
Later this year, SBC plans to make the self-install option available for enhanced DSL service customers and to those using Windows 2000 and Windows NT, as well as the Macintosh and Linux operating systems.
The self-install kit will be available to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that resell the company's DSL service, and each ISP will set its own prices and terms.
The kits are available to most DSL customers in eight of the 13 states in SBC's coverage area. Kits will be available in the remaining five states, all in the region formerly served by Ameritech, later in the third quarter.
SBC thus far has made DSL available to more than 14 million homes and businesses, and about 200,000 subscribers have signed up for DSL service. Under its $6 billion broadband investment effort called Project Pronto, SBC has pledged to make DSL service available to more than 80 percent of its customers by 2002.
SBC, in San Antonio, can be reached at +1-210-821-4105 or at http://www.sbc.com/.