AT&T rolls out ADSL for business

AT&T Canada is offering ADSL service for businesses in the Greater Toronto Area, with Montreal and Vancouver soon to follow.

By the end of the year, AT&T Canada hopes to have the service available through most of Canada’s major cities including Calgary, London, Hamilton and others according to Gord Waites, vice-president of operations and development for AT&T Canada in Toronto.

The service is designed to connect LANs to the Internet at up to 2.2Mbps to the customer and up to 640Kbps back to the Internet. The fully managed connection includes domain name service, 20 e-mail boxes at the customer’s domain, a router and an ADSL termination unit. Waites said the termination unit acts like a modem for ADSL.

“Our router that’s provided to the customer premise plugs right into the LAN using an Ethernet connection. We walk the customer through the whole installation process,” said Waites.

“It’s $495 per month. It gets a little bit less if you sign up for a term commitment. There’s a $500 up-front charge for service and installation.”

Jordan Worth, a telecommunications and Internet analyst IDC Canada in Toronto, said there is a good business market for ADSL, especially compared to cable.

“Buildings generally don’t have cable, and cable has security issues that most companies don’t feel comfortable with [because it’s a shared network]. ADSL is not shared, so it’s easier to set up firewalls… It’s a proper data service in the sense that it’s the same topography as other data services for which security measures are created,” explained Worth.

He added that the AT&T pricing sounds competitive, and ADSL overall is more cost-effective than other high-speed connections.

“High-speed (Internet access) is going to be an incredibly important market. It’s cheaper than a T-1. Small and medium businesses will certainly have a need for it,” Worth said.

Waites said AT&T Canada is planning to roll out other DSL services in the future, but couldn’t specify what those services might be. He did say the company is working with synchronous DSL (SDSL) in a lab environment, but couldn’t speculate as to when SDSL services may be available.

AT&T Canada can be reached at 1-877-288-2345 or found on-line at