AOL eyes high-speed transmission

Summary:America Online Inc. will begin nationwide trials of Digital Subscriber Line technology -- a service that allows high-speed transmission of data over standard copper phone lines, the company announced today.

America Online Inc. will begin nationwide trials of Digital Subscriber Line technology -- a service that allows high-speed transmission of data over standard copper phone lines, the company announced today.

AOL (AOL) will work with GTE Internetworking to set up the DSL trials, AOL spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg said. GTE Internetworking will be responsible for setting up the service with local telephone companies in the regions where the service is being tested.

"Telcos tend to use different DSL standards and equipment. GTE Internetworking is going to coordinate with the phone companies to install different equipment if it's needed," Goldberg said.

The tests will be conducted over the portion of AOLnet that is already operated by GTE Internetworking under an existing contract.

Initial trials will take place in Birmingham, Ala.; Phoenix; Redmond, Wash.; the San Francisco Bay area; and the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington.

The service will cost $49.95 per month, which includes the AOL subscriber fee.

Goldberg said AOL did not have definite plans regarding the future of the service, and stressed that AOL is examining several options regarding broadband service.

"We've said we're going to look into a variety of technology. We've been in cable (modem) trials for some time, and we're looking at wireless," she said.

DSL technology can achieve speeds as much as 25 times faster than a 28.8 Kbps modem.

Topics: Networking

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