Out Of The Box And Onto The Net

New no-frills `on-ramps' are godsends for small business

Architect Steven Lopez, who doubles as the computer systems chief for his Los Angeles architectural and engineering firm, knew firsthand the business benefits of Internet access: E-mail for the cost of a local phone call and a pipeline to the Net's vast information storehouse. But when Lopez wanted to bring the company's 55-employee office online, he knew it wouldn't be cost-effective to repeat his own setup of modem, dedicated phone line, and individual account with CompuServe Inc.

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