MyZDNet | Reviews | Shop | Business | Help | News | Electronics | GameSpot | Tech Life | Downloads | Developer
Speed Up Downloads
Most Popular Products
Computer Books Direct

ZDNet > AnchorDesk > Story > BERST ALERT

Click Here!

Search For:            • Search Tips
• Power Search
Get your daily
technology fix

 See a sample issue
 Briefing Centers
 Week in Review


Free Email Account

ZDNet AnchorDesk Next Story

Berst Alert
Jesse Berst Monday, September 18, 2000
Don't Get DSL...Until You Read This Guide

Jesse Berst, Editorial Director
ZDNet AnchorDesk

Doesn't every kid try the tin-can-and-string telephone?

It's not the best system, but everybody's got the materials. And it works…pretty well.

Digital subscriber line (DSL) will win the residential fast access race for the same reason: Telephone wire (which is what DSL uses) wasn't designed for high-speed data transfer, but everybody's got it.

And it works…pretty well.

This isn't news to my readers. I've told you before why DSL will win over cable modems Click for more. Today I'll tell you how DSL is gaining ground, and offer tips for staying out of DSL hell.

You knew the thirst for fast access was great. Did you know how soon most people will be able to sign up for DSL?

DSL will be available to at least 70% of U.S. homes by 2004, according to The Pelorus Group. Click for more.

Cable modem subscribers still outnumber DSL users, but the gap is closing fast. EMarketer reports there will be 1.84 million DSL users by year-end, compared to 2.94 million cable modem users. Expect DSL users to outnumber cable users by 2003. Click for more.

You can also see the frenzy to sign up new customers in the headlines.

  • The government tells phone companies they must share their phone lines with DSL providers. Click for more.
  • Covad offers 178,000 Ford employees DSL for $25 per month. Click for more.
  • Verizon Online cuts prices on DSL subscriptions for existing customers and waives modem fees for new sign-ups. Click for more.
  • Juno Online Services Inc. now offers DSL to 39 new markets throughout the United States. Click for more.

If you're lured by the promise of DSL access, here's what you need to know first.

Who offers it. DSL runs over your phone line, but your phone company, thankfully, isn't the only one to offer the service. But don't expect them to tell you about the others. 2Wire's Web site will tell you about ISPs that support DSL in your area. Be sure to click on the "Total DSL Search Results" tab, otherwise you just get 2Wire's partners. Click for more. Or you can go to ZDNet's ISP Finder to compare not just DSL providers, but all flavors of high-speed access in your neighborhood.

When to expect it. Don't Expect DSL to be installed quickly. If you're lucky, no one will have to visit your house and you can install the DSL modem yourself. If you live in a rural area, you're probably out of luck.

How much you'll pay. Some telcos offer sign-up incentives that cut out the cost of the DSL modem, or at least reduce the cost. Expect to pay nothing or $100 or more for the hardware, more if you have to have someone install it for you. After that, you're looking at $35 to $200 per month depending on what type of line you want.

How fast it will be. Entry level DSL will be about 256kbps, but NorthPoint now offers DSL of speeds up to 1.5mbps, or about the same as a T1 line. Monitor your speed: Some consumers aren't getting the speed they thought they were. Click for more.

The best information comes from the experiences of others. For tales from the trenches, go to DSL Reports or check out the links section of

And for a nuts-and-bolts primer, go to ZDNet's DSL Superguide. Click for more.

DSL may be the best and cheapest way to get fast access for a lot of people. It's not flawless -- but it beats tin cans and string.

Are you ready for the switch to DSL? Do you already have it? Hit the TalkBack button and tell me your story, or go to my Berst Alerts Forum where the discussion has already started. And please take a moment to take my QuickPoll below.

What are you willing to pay for DSL every month?

Talkback: Post your comment here
I have SBC/Ameritech DSL Speedp... - Chris Taylor
DSL - Not a chance! (Funny -... - Michael Keane
I got ADSL about 3 weeks ago fr... - Robert Beck
I have had DSL now for about a ... - George Pouliot
Jesse, I had DSL with Covad. ... - Joetech
You're missing a price-point in... - Tom Mackie
Bellsouth notified me in May I ... - Terry Allen
I have Verizon DSL, and since l... - Terry Smith
BT is busy installing ADSL for ... - John Pickup
Verizone discounting DSL? Fine,... - Scott Foster
DSL is great, if: 1. You can... - Todd McNeeley
DSL is a farce - I daytrade & s... - D Zilant
You are correct in the Hurry up... - Steve Martin
I found WWW.DSLREPORTS.COM to b... - Dr. William Croom
We wanted DSL from our local ph... - David Rohler
People seem quite happy with DS... - Pradeep Chakraborty
DSL providers need help. If th... - Robert Barrett
I already have cable access for... - John Karper
Here is a horror story for you,... - Douglas Sheppard
SBC Moves from always on to alw... - DVito
At 2Wire I could not find a tot... - Marge Milner
The amount I am willing to pay ... - Bill Rodgers
If I needed a faster connection... - Hans Jacobs
70% on DSL, you're dreaming. 70... - John Pratchios
The Key to keeping DSL a viable... - Tony Guadagno
I already have RoadRunner and i... - William McNair
Don't be surprised if your cabl... - Mitch Baum
I;m sorry, I think all the arti... - James L. Brainard
Typical of this column -- tablo... - Tyler White
For the past year, I've enjoyed... - eric pearson
Well I don't think DSL is going... - James Patterson
I have both DSL and Cable Modem... - Richard Love
I completely agree with your co... - Mike Sparks
All well and good. But, I live ... - Dick Varone
2-Wire is useless! Don't waste ... - Kevin Hartley
With all the hype, I still can'... - Jim Castagneri
There are other factors to cons... - Richard Maiello
Rural customers are not out of ... - Robert Smith
Until DSL is cheaper than cable... - David Diamond
My cable modem with Roadrunner ... - Richard Lawson
I just read your story on DSL. ... - Barbara S. O'Neal
I tried to get DSL, but I was t... - Michael Thomas
My Roadrunner cable is faster t... - Richard C. Lawson
The biggest problem with DSL is... - Richard Jefferson
I was all ready to get DSL hook... - Bob Smith
Check your DSL speed? How? Wi... - Dick George
I can't get my DSL past 150k/s.... - TonyT
I have had DSL for over a year ... - Shell Kyle

E-mail this story!
Printer Friendly
  • Fast Access

    Broadband -- Fast access, slow install - ZDNet News

    Escape From DSL Hell - Sm@rt Partner

    Berst Alerts Forum ">Berst Alert Forum

    Get AnchorDesk in your inbox

    Bell Atlantic Internet Solutions

    Covad Communications Company

    Juno Online Services

    NorthPoint Communications Inc.

    Qwest Communications International, Inc.

    Verizon Communications

    Get an Ovation with Your Presentation

    Nike Player Looks Cool, But Breaks Little Ground

    Old OS Still Kicking, But Just Barely

    Keep it Clean with McAfee QuickClean

    Test Your Luck in our Printer Giveaway

    AOL-Time Warner…
    Mac OS X…
    Nomad Jukebox…

    Next Story


     Sponsored Links
    No Credit?  Get a MasterCard with NO Credit Checks!
    NEW!  Browse for great products at the CDW Business Center!
    Booth4Sale  Deeply discounted COMDEX/Fall 2000 booth space!
    OUTPOST  FREE OVERNIGHT DELIVERY on everything for your home and office.
    Books  Check out great software titles for $10 at Barnes &!
    POWERHOUSE  Millenia MAX 866MHz with DVD from $1999! Click here.
     Intel Manufacturer Showcase    Need More Help?
    Shop Now!   Shop at Dell's Home Solution Center - Dell Small Business Center
    Shop Now!   Gateway Home Computing Center
     Featured Links
    Bargains!  Save on desktops, digital cameras, modems & more in the Outlet
    Download  Boost your download capabilities with Go!Zilla – FREE!
    Red Herring  RISK-FREE! For insight into the business of technology.
     Magazine Offers
    Free Trial  Try Yahoo! Internet Life Free and see 101 Useful Sites

    Tech Jobs |  ZDNet e-centives |  Free E-mail |  Newsletters |  Updates |  MyZDNet |  Alerts |  Rewards |  Join ZDNet |  Members |  ZDNet eCircles
    Feedback |  Your Privacy |  Service Terms |  Advertise |  About Us
    Copyright © 2000 ZD Inc. All rights reserved. ZDNet and the ZDNet logo are registered trademarks of ZD Inc.