The lines between residential and commercial broadband services continue to blur, and broadband providers are introducing new add-ons to attract the growing number of telecommuter and SOHO broadband customers.
In that vein, DirecTV Broadband Inc., which offers the DirecTV DSL brand broadband service across the U.S. and Canada, said it would offer remote-access to its DSL customers via a relationship with Expertcity Inc. and its GoToMyPC platform. The service is designed to allow subscribers easy remote PC access, providing a secure connection for telecommuters or home office users from anywhere in the world, the companies said. DirecTV will co-brand the GoToMyPC service, and broadband customers can purchase it through DirecTV Broadband's customers-only Web site.
Cable broadband providers have long courted the home office and telecommuter markets for their broadband service, and some of the nation's leading providers have already announced remote access service plans to meet the demand. In late October, Cablevision Systems Corp. announced a new service-Optimum Traveler-that allows customers of the company's Optimum Online high-speed Internet service to connect to the Internet using dial-up from any computer equipped with a 56k modem. The Cablevision version of remote access works like a pre-paid phone card, giving customers 600 minutes of dial-up access for a flat fee of $9.95.
Also, in September, AT&T Broadband (now part of Comcast Corp.) launched a remote access program through a platform provided by the PeoplePC access service. With the AT&T Broadband plan, users pay a one-time fee of $10 for two hours of dial-up access per month, and purchase additional connection time on an as-needed basis.