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[Editor's Note: the following refers to our Tip of the Day: What is DSL?]

Dear Editor:

Your article on DSL is technically accurate but fails to reflect the reality of the marketplace for DSL services in many areas of the country.

Remember that DSL providers depend on access to local telephone company switching and lines in order to connect and provide DSL service for subscribers. Many of these telecommunications companies are themselves attempting to be providers of DSL services: this creates a direct conflict between the independent DSL providers and the telephone companies. There is no incentive for the telecommunications providers to be cooperative with the independent DSL providers, and most of them are not. The high death rate among independent DSL providers is, in part, attributable to the stonewalling of the telephone companies who refuse them access.

Trying to get DSL service installed by a telecommunications company is difficult enough: trying to get DSL service installed from an independent provider is frequently next to impossible.

Cable modems don't suffer from these structural problems. Until the DSL market sorts itself out, persons wishing to have high-speed Internet access should not disregard the benefits of cable modems.

Leslie Thiele