Instead of hopping on to the World Wide Web, more and more people are now sprinting. In the last four years, few things have decreased in price as rapidly as Digital Subscriber Line, or DSL internet access. The fast lane of the Information Super Highway is now available in more areas than ever before.
Jerry Hall is cybersurfing at the speed of light. At one time, he used to dial up to log on, but now, he's always online thanks to DSL. "It just took too long to download files from the internet. And, with DSL, I get seven or eight times as fast." That means he can download his music in just over two minutes rather than almost 20. And his online Bible trivia game is more fun than with his old pokey phone line. "Oh, it wouldn't be any fun at all. You'd never win. Only the first person counts."
More good news; the cost has dropped nearly 40% since 1999. "When it started out, I believe we paid $49, and then $39, and I believe the current rate is $29."
"In 2003 alone, we've seen 273,000 new subscribers to our SBC DSL," says Skip Ogle, SBC's External Affairs Director. "That's unparalleled in our corporate history, and unparalleled in our industry."
Part of the reason is a large tan, metal box sitting behind Oakland Heights Baptist Church in Longview. It allows phone companies to extend DSL networks out in a three mile radius. There are dozens like it in East Texas and more are coming every day. "That is our big push, is to expand our DSL network further into the neighborhoods and we do that through the remote terminals."
Every major DSL providor has dropped prices this year. But, DSL still lags behind cable modem subscribers by a two to one margin.