The (not so) Wonderful World of High-Speed Internet Access

Discover the joys of using the new technology of DSL and cable modems to make your link to the world.
Do I Need High-Speed Internet Access?

I have decided I am not ready to be a part of this tangled web just yet, as I don't want to pay the extra fees. While I do not possess the patience of Job, I can manage with a 56K modem for now, at least until the big corporations hammer out accords and mergers, etc. I will stress that I want DSL service. Once you have tried it, you will want it, too. Why run when you can drive? Why cook with an oven when there's a microwave? The speed achieved by using DSL or cable modem makes browsing the Internet fun again.

Whether or not you make the plunge depends on what you wish to accomplish and how much patience you have. If you run a business, be it from home or not, a super-fast Internet connection makes sense. Overall, the service is more of a want than a need, but that will change. We are a society hungry for speed and technology. Dial-up modems have served a purpose and will now give way to innovation. Within the next five years, you will most likely be receiving Internet access, phone service, long-distance service and cable from one company. In December 1999, Bell Atlantic was cleared by the FCC to offer long-distance telephone service. This is the first time, since the breakup of AT&T, that this has been allowed. What it means for Bell Atlantic is the ability to extend coverage. If other telcos are given the same clearance and DSL technology becomes widespread, thoroughly understood, and fully supported, prices will drop and the traditional dial-up modems will become door stops.

Jason Schumaker is an Assistant Editor at Linux Journal. He can be reached at jason@ssc.com.

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