BellSouth has picked Athens, Ga. as the first commercial site for the telco's new wireless broadband service.

The company's FastAccess service transmits signals between local radio towers and small non-line-of-site desktop modems.

BellSouth will market the service to area students and businesses, and use it to reach rural areas where DSL is not available.

The service costs $24.95 to $39.95 per month, depending on the speed tier selected, and whether the customer is bundling FastAccess with phone service from BellSouth.

According to the company's Web site, the "Residential Lite" tier caps speeds at 384 kbps down/128 kbps up. The "Residential Ultra" tier is 1.5 Mbps/256 kbps. The business tier, meanwhile, also offers 1.5 Mbps down, but a healthier upstream cap of 384 kbps.

"With the University of Georgia here, Athens was a logical place for us to first offer this exciting new technology," said BellSouth VP of Product Marketing George Hill.

BellSouth has been testing wireless broadband since 2000, most recently in Daytona and Palatka, Fla.