Access Subscribers Soared
The number of high-speed Internet connections in the United
States jumped 158 percent last year, with 7.1 million lines reaching homes
and businesses, the Federal Communications Commission recently stated.
The biggest jump came in asymmetric digital subscriber line (DSL)
service, in which the download speed is faster than the uplink, which
soared 435 percent to 2 million lines. Meanwhile, 3.6 million lines
offering high-speed Internet service were over coaxial cable systems last
year, a 153 percent increase over 1999, according to the FCC report.
Approximately 5.2 million lines were to residential and small
businesses. About 4.3 million of the total high-speed lines provided
two-way 200-plus kilobits per second service, up 118 percent for the year,
the report said. Additionally, the provision of high-speed access via
satellite and fixed-wireless technology, while nascent, more than doubled
to 112,000 lines last year from 50,000 the prior year. There were
subscribers in 75 percent of the nation's zip codes last year, up from 56
percent at the end of 1999, according to the FCC.
What does this
all mean? High-speed internet access is more affordable these days! It
used to be that hugely expensive T1 or ISDN lines were your only options.
Now, a DSL line for your office is almost a no-brainer. Let's say you have
8 employees all using dial-up access. At $18 per line per month, you would
be shelling out a hefty $144 for outdated technology. For the same money,
your office can share one DSL line at 10 to 100 times the speed of a
dial-up line. Imagine the time savings alone!
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Last year, Microsoft introduced
Windows ME (ME), presumably an upgrade to the Windows 98 operating system.
The difference is that while Microsoft supported Windows 98 in an office
environment, they support ME only for home use. Windows 2000 Professional
is Microsoft's business operating system. Windows 2000 is built on Windows
NT technology and is tried and proven in a networked environment.
Too often, when a computer is purchased at a retail store, it
comes pre-loaded with ME. There are many known issues that make ME
difficult to network. Microsoft's answer is that Windows ME was never
intended for use in a business setting. Our advice is to stick with
Windows 98 or Windows 2000 Professional.