I understand DSL is an alternative to dial up Internet connections and cable modems. Should I get DSL and when will it be available?
Digital Subscriber Line or DSL is a service that runs over your existing phone wiring to provide you with continuous access to the Internet, similar to a cable modem. Also, like a cable modem, it does not require you to add a phone line. Unlike a cable modem, however, you have dedicated guaranteed speed.
According to a Southwestern Bell representative, Lawrence is not going to be on the 1999 deployment schedule for DSL. When it is implemented, the prices will most likely be $39 a month, with installation costing $198.
Both cable modems and DSL are significantly faster than dial-up connections. DSL has guaranteed speed, but that speed is generally lower than the potential speed of cable modems.
Because cable modems are shared connections, another cable modem user could create a traffic jam and slow down the whole system. Cable modems are generally less expensive than DSL. In Lawrence, cable modem service is $24.95 a month, with $75 installation fee.
Both cable modems and DSL are good for people who use the Internet enough that they are considering purchasing a separate phone line or find the Internet a bit slow. If you use the Internet less than an hour a day, then one of these high speed alternatives is probably not necessary.
Geeks on Wheels is a division of the World Company, the parent company of Sunflower Cablevision's Datavision and the Lawrence Journal-World.
-- David Greenbaum is director of Geeks on Wheels. You can send him questions at dsg@Geek911.com or at Geeks on Wheels, 1-888-Geek-911, toll-free nationwide.