Ma Bell announced Tuesday that customers in Texas, Michigan and Indiana can get DSL on top of their bundled local and long-distance phone service. The move comes two months afterservice into Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia. In July, the company began offering .
AT&T charges $19.95 a month for the first three months and then $39.95 per month after that for its standard 384kbps (kilobits per second) DSL service. The company's faster 1.5mbps (megabits per second) service costs $49.95 a month with a $20 discount for the first three months.
AT&T jump-started its DSL plans in July when it partnered with service provider Covad Communications to offer broadband as part of its local and long-distance phone package. Like other DSL providers--namely Baby Bells SBC Communications, Verizon Communications, BellSouth and Qwest Communications International--AT&T hopes DSL offerings will keep people from dropping their voice services.
Phone companies have been suffering from customer defections from their voice services because of wireless growth and cable's expansion into voice. This sobering reality has forced them to accelerate their DSL efforts. Cable companies areand have the advantage of offering video programming on top of data and voice.
The Bells have fought back by introducing reduced rates of less than $30 a month for some services. However, many cable companies have offered their ownand have nearly .