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AT&T ADSL thunders across US heartland

Broadband in 14 states and more to follow

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AT&T this week outlined a plan to sell broadband services in all states in which it provides bundled local and long-distance residential services.

Last week saw the roll-out of the company's broadband services in Missouri, Kansas and Pennsylvania. This brings the total of states that AT&T covers to 14. The programme began last Summer and the company says it will add 14 more states by the end of March.

The company also expects to provide local phone service to more than 4 million consumers in 46 states by the same deadline.

In a parallel discussion with financial analysts, AT&T said that it was experimenting with Fiber to the Home and broadband over power lines in an effort to provide these services without leasing lines from local carriers such as Verizon, SBC, Bellsouth and Qwest. Currently it is using lines from competitive local exchange carrier Covad to fulfil these ADSL services.

Broadband-enabled consumers can choose two plans, standard or preferred. The standard plan adds an ADSL for just $19.95 a month for the first three months, but it rises to $39.95 thereafter. The preferred plan gives a faster ADSL line and starts for $29.95 for three months and then goes up to $49.95.

AT&T is also bundling in 20 hours a month of national dial-up Internet access for when the customers are not at home, as well as a free ADSL modem.

AT&T has been losing long-distance clients to the local telcos who can offer a bundle of local, long-distance and high-speed internet access, and this is its strategy to retain those clients.

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