GTE commercially deploys asymmetrical digital subscriber line (ADSL) service. High-speed Internet access service to initially benefit multi-tenant property owners and residents of Southern California

IRVING, Texas -- GTE Communications Corporation, a newly formed competitive local exchange carrier and unit of GTE Corp., today announced that it has begun commercial deployment of asymmetrical digital subscriber line (ADSL) service in Southern California.

The customer premises equipment-based (CPE), high-speed Internet access service is the first-of-its-kind deployment among major U.S.-based carriers. The service, to be marketed as ADSL OnSiteSM, initially involves up to 1,000 residential units at the Mariners Village apartment complex in Marina Del Rey, Calif., and delivers lightning-fast access to the Internet using Westell Technologies' FlexCap2 Rate Adaptive Digital Subscriber Line (RADSL) system. Internet access and equipment will be provided by GTE Internetworking, a unit of GTE Corp.

GTE Communications Corporation will commercially offer the ADSL OnSite service in numerous key markets throughout the country over the next year.

The company's regulated local exchange carrier, GTE Network Services, continues to provide ADSL service to customers in Texas, Washington, North Carolina and Indiana as part of its ongoing industry-leading trials. GTE Network Services plans to convert its trials into full-scale commercial deployment in the first quarter of 1998, pending regulatory approval.

ADSL Possesses Broad Appeal For Wide Variety Of Users

"As ADSL service becomes more prevalent, it will dramatically transform the way active computer users around the globe do business," said Butch Bercher, president-GTE Communications Corp. "Whereas GTE Network Services' trials have focused on delivering a high-speed Internet and remote LAN access solution for businesses, college campuses and some residents, this initial deployment takes direct aim at helping multi-tenant property owners and residents use the most advanced technologies as a competitive tool.

"The OnSite solution delivers an extremely easy-to-install, easy-to-use way for deployment of ADSL at apartment complexes, condominiums, high-rises and college dormitories," added Bercher.

"By enabling people to work more efficiently and productively from home as compared to a traditional office, ADSL will revolutionize the way condominium and apartment dwellers think about using technology to stay ahead in business," said Doug Ring, owner of Mariners Village. "Nearly 50 residents of Mariners Village have been using ADSL service for the past few months as part of a trial, and they love it. The ability to offer easy-to-use and affordable access to the Internet will make this attractive property stand out from all others in this region for people who are seeking a safe and convenient place to live, and at the same time have the ability to take advantage of cutting-edge technology."

Service Priced Affordably For Customers

With the Westell RADSL system, GTE customers can transmit data "downstream" to their computers at speeds ranging from 680 kilobits per second (kbps) to 1.5 megabits per second (Mbps), and "upstream" to the Internet at 256 kbps to 384 kbps, respectively. For comparison, a subscriber could use the RADSL system to download a 10 megabyte (MB) file (e.g., one-minute video clip) using a 1.5 Mbps modem in 53 seconds versus 46 minutes using a 28.8 kbps modem.

Because ADSL operates as a dedicated connection to the Internet, no dial-up connections are required, allowing users to have an "always connected" link to the Internet.

GTE's ADSL OnSite service is priced for individual residential and business customers as follows:

  • Residential 680 kbps/256 kbps, $125 per month, plus $250 installation. The service includes unlimited dial-up GTE Internet access, e-mail and newsgroups, five Megabytes of drive space on web server for personal home page, one e-mail mailbox, ADSL modem rental and 24 hour/7 day technical support.
  • Business - 1.5 Mbps/384 kbps, $700 per month, plus $500 installation. The service includes unlimited dial-up GTE Internet access, e-mail and newsgroups, five Megabytes of drive space on web server for personal home page, five e-mail mailboxes, ADSL modem rental and 24 hour/7 day network monitoring and technical support.

High-Speed Internet Access, Telecommuting Growth Drive ADSL Demand

"Westell is absolutely delighted to partner with GTE in their commercial deployment and national roll-out of ADSL enabled services," said J. Nelson, President of Westell, Inc. "It is clear, based on our experience in this market, that there is a growing demand, across the United States from both residential and business based consumers, for applications like high-speed Internet access, remote LAN access, streaming video, distance learning and telecommuting. The ADSL OnSite service meets this demand; customers are going to be excited by GTE's leading edge service offerings and ADSL technology applications."

"The ADSL OnSite solution supports the two fastest growing trends in business today -- an increase in the number of people working from home, and a rapid growth in the number of people using the Internet as their business platform to communicate with customers," said Flynn Nogueira, director-data services for GTE Communications Corp. "ADSL OnSite offers customers speed, power, productivity, reliability and flexibility, while taking the pain out of working over the Internet. In short, it gives customers a huge competitive edge in the marketplace."

How the Multi-Dwelling Unit Deployment Works

In previous trials, ADSL modems had to be installed in both the central office and the customers' premises. However, the CPE-based deployment does not require equpment at the central office.

At the Mariners Village complex, 4600 Via Marina Road, all concentration equipment is installed at the telephone terminal room in the building and uses existing building cabling. As a result, the service is easy to install, and does not affect the appearance of the property, or greatly impact the infrastructure requirements.

The property's telephone equipment room, which acts as a concentrator, is outfitted with the RADSL modems, a Cisco Ethernet switch and Cisco 2500 Series routers to direct the data traffic between the Internet and subscribers. In each of the subscribers' units is an ADSL modem that operates with a companion ADSL system located in the telephone equipment room. A high-speed T-1 line (1.544Mbps) links the telephone equipment room to the Internet.

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About Westell
Westell Inc. is a leading worldwide innovator and manufacturer of xDSL systems and telecommunications access products, with corporate headquarters in Aurora, Illinois. Westell's xDSL products are currently in use or trial by more than 100 customers in over 30 countries worldwide including Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, Bell Canada, BT, GTE, MCI, Quebec Telephone, SBC, Saskatchewan Telephone, Telecom Italia, US West and leading Internet service providers. In addition to developing and manufacturing xDSL and non-DSL data and telecommunications products, Westell Inc. has established technology relationships with leading telecommunication, software, computing and semi-conductor companies such as Atlantech Technologies, ATML, DSC Communications, GlobeSpan, Lucent Technologies, Microsoft, Motorola and others. Additional information can be obtained by visiting Westell's Web site at www.westell.com>.