Direct computer system powerhouse Dell Computer Corp., Round Rock, TX, added Bell Atlantic as another partner in its strategy to give buyers of Dell's Dimension desktop personal computers faster Internet access using quick asymmetric digital subscriber line services.
Dell's strategy, called ConnectDirect, is designed to give purchasers of Dell Dimension computers a direct launching point for the Internet almost immediately after they start their PCs. The machines also will be equipped to bring up a customizable home page after going online.
Under the agreement with telecommunications giant Bell Atlantic, the companies will collaborate to integrate Bell Atlantic ADSL services with ADSL-ready Dimension PCs for home and small business customers. The companies also will work to develop a process to help Dell customers determine whether or not they are eligible for Bell Atlantic ADSL Internet service.
Dell foresees completing its efforts with Bell Atlantic by early 1999. In the meantime, Bell Atlantic customers can buy Dimension PCs with network cards for an ADSL connection with Bell Atlantic services and modems.
ADSL services change regular phone lines into high-speed, high-bandwidth conduits for reaching the Internet up to 125 times faster than 56K modems. People using ADSL services also can access the Net and talk over the phone using the same line. Dell is betting the fast Internet connection will appeal to the growing number of people who are buying PCs primarily so they can get onto the Net.
Other partners in the ConnectDirect effort include AT&T Corp.'s WorldNet Service and content provider Excite Inc. Besides Bell Atlantic, other Dell ADSL partners include SBC Communications Inc. and US West. The three telecom firms' combined services reach almost half of the states in the country.