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2000 Could Be The Year For Faster Internet Access With Cable Modems

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MORRISVILLE — Faster Internet access -- technology that once was available in smaller towns around the country because the systems are easier to build -- is finally becoming available in the Triangle.

A group of first adopters received their cable modems atTime Warner Cable.David Beasley was among the first 500 Triangle Internet users to get the speed he wants.

"Having a family that is all Internet capable now, we're interested in being able to move some stuff through the computer," Beasley said.

Time Warner's new digital network offers itsRoad Runnerservice through the newest cable technology.

"We are focused in primarily the Raleigh, Durham, general Triangle area, roughly about half a million homes."

The other side of fast access is ADSL offered byBellSouthandGTE.

In a comparison between the speed of the two modems, ADSL takes one second to downloadWRAL OnLine. A 28.8 modem-equipped machine takes nine seconds.

ADSL is available through most of the Triangle, but only under certain conditions.

"The limitations of ADSL is that it has to work on a copper facility and within three miles of the central office," said David Lane, BellSouth spokesman.

This year, BellSouth plans to expand ADSL to neighborhoods served by fiber-optic lines.

"The technology is available to deploy ADSL further out into the field and provide it for customers who are in newer subdivisions or don't qualify today," Lane said.

Costs for these services range from $40 to $60 a month, which does not include set-up charges.