article

DSL Promises Still May Be Kept

Posted: 11/2000

The Letter

DSL Promises Still May Be Kept

We
are hearing it repeatedly. DSL may not be the be-all, end-all for faster
service.

The promises during the past few years of meeting the need for speed among
Internet users have failed, because in most instances DSL has not been
provisioned.

While carriers continue to say they will be able to meet the growing demand,
everything from laying fiber to a lack of training in the back office plague the
DSL potential.

A growing sense of frustration among agents and resellers, as they have more
and more difficulty explaining to their customers why provisioning takes so
long, have many of them second-guessing themselves. Do they really want to be
selling DSL service, when it appears to be a nondeliverable item?

Added to the equation is the growing interest in fixed wireless. With
progress being made to strengthen signals that could eliminate line-of-site
requirements, fixed wireless may end up getting to the provisioning finish line
long before crews have repaved the streets where they’ve laid the fiber for DSL.

Still, there may be light on the way to that dark fiber. The question is
whether agents can be patient?

Work on laying fiber in many major cities has been ongoing. A point is being
reached, most probably within the next six months to a year, when DSL
subscribers will begin to realize the wait–although longer than they would have
liked–was worth it.

Cisco Systems Inc. (www.cisco.com) already
offers the hardware to help subscribers–with the proper dedicated lines–to
plug and play with little or no outside help.

While the construction part of DSL may be winding up in many major
markets–the Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets still have a ways to go–the next major
hurdle carriers must address will be to ensure their customer service personnel
understand DSL.

Nothing is more frustrating than to recognize the very person you are calling
to get help has no clue, or simply doesn’t care.

It really is incumbent on the carriers to keep their customer service
employees fully informed of their progress.

It is obvious a little more patience is all that is needed for DSL to become
a reality. But at what cost will it be if the carriers’ back office scares
potential buyers away with their lack of information?

Bruce Christian
Editor


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