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Compaq disappoints Europe

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Compaq has launched a new range of PCs which come ready equipped with DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) technology 300 times faster than standard 56k modems. Priced at $1,599 (£960) and only available in the US, the PCs will not be available in the UK until one of the carriers offers DSL-compatible connections. There is a further problem because this sort of technology is actually illegal in many major European countries, with little sign of respite. BT began a trial of the technology in London a couple of weeks ago and since then around 900 homes and business have signed up to the scheme. "Around eight people are joining the pilot each day," said a spokesman for BT. "It's progressing well," he said adding that it is still "very early days". A spokeswoman for Compaq was equally tight-lipped about when the technology would be available in the UK. The introduction of anything that will speed up internet access is seen as essential if the web is to become as pervasive as TV or the telephone. Poor connection speeds and sluggish download times are widely regarded as the major bugbear of net users. The introduction of DSL technology would make accessing video and audio over the web almost instantaneous. ®

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