BellSouth Gets Light

BellSouth Corp. became the latest provider to delve into the budget broadband market last week, unveiling a lower-speed digital subscriber line offering priced as low as $35 per month.

FastAccess DSL Lite is being marketed to dial-up customers who want an always-on connection but not necessarily blazing broadband speed.

It will be offered for $35 per month to customers who take BellSouth voice service, and $39.95 for those who opt only for the DSL service.

DSL Lite will provide an always-on connection at speeds of up to 256 Kilobits per second downstream and 128 Kbps upstream, depending on the customer's proximity to the nearest central office. That is a sizable throughput drop from BellSouth's standard FastAccess DSL service, which offers a maximum 1.5 Megabits per second up and 256 Kbps down for $45 with a voice bundle, and $49.95 for data only.

The service includes up to five e-mail boxes and 10 Megabytes of personal Web storage space. But it does not include parental controls or a security firewall unless customers pay an additional $6.95 monthly.