Free ADSL Service in April

    A well-financed company, Broadband Digital Group, will offer free high-speed Internet access beginning in April, 2000. The user will have to furnish an ADSL modem, currently costing about $100. Users who get 10 other users to sign up for this service before the first of April will receive a free ADSL modem. ADSL runs over ordinary telephone lines, and speeds Internet access by factors ragning from 10-to-1 up to 50-to-1, depending upon the quality of the telephone lines between the subscriber and the central telephone exchange. ADSL is limited to customers who live within 3 miles of a suitably equipped telephone exchange, and may not be currently available in rural areas. (For these customers, other options may prevail, including cable service, satellite, and wireless services.) The next few years will probably see a wholesale switch to this first-generation wideband service.