STM sees ADSL as the best route for fast Internet

STM sees ADSL as the best route for fast InternetOf all the high speed Internet technologies, SGS-Thomson Microelectronics (STM) is placing its bets with ADSL – asymmetric digital subscriber line, writes Richard Ball. “The volume deployment of ADSL starts this year,” claimed Pierandrea Borgato, product manager for DSL technology at STM. He expects some 400,000 lines to be installed world-wide this year, rising to 3m by 2000. “The need for more and faster Internet access is driving the development of ADSL,” said Borgato. “There will be 100m people connected to the Internet in the year 2000. Also there is a request for more bandwidth – and ISDN cannot satisfy that.” The Lite version of ADSL, specified by Compaq, Intel and Microsoft, is expected to be popular. With 1.5Mbit/s bandwidth, Lite is easier to implement than the full 6Mbit/s ADSL. The technology has benefits over other high bandwidth solutions. “ADSL has the minimum initial cashflow because the copper wiring is already there,” said Borgato. Telecom companies like ADSL, he said, because data traffic is separated from voice, and they can be invoiced separately.
Unfortunately, opposition to ADSL may come from the telcos themselves. The Lite specification states that the line must always be switched on, indicating a flat fee type of billing. Telcos do not like this, preferring to charge by the second for time connected.

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