Qwest Attacks Comcast With 40 Mbit/s
The Denver-based telco also announced a less expensive tier that delivers 40 Mbit/s downstream, but only 5 Mbit/s upstream.
Rumors of the speeds and pricing for Qwest's two 40 Mbit/s (downstream) tiers first surfaced last month. (See Qwest Taking a Run at Wideband?)
The new tiers double Qwest's previous fastest DSL offering, but they're only available to certain residential and business customers in the Denver, Tucson, Salt Lake City, and Minneapolis/St. Paul areas. The telco said it expects to offer the faster speeds to other select areas in 23 markets, including parts of New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, in the "coming months."
Qwest is selling the 40/20 service for an introductory price of $109.99 per month when it's bundled with a home phone package, while the 40/5 package goes for $99.99 per month at first. In both cases, the price rises $10 after 12 months, according to a Qwest spokeswoman.
She says Qwest's fiber-to-the-neighborhood network, which includes VDSL2 support, passes about 2 million homes so far.
The new VDSL2 offerings take direct aim at Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), which expects to have wideband available on 65 percent of its plant by year's end, and on its entire network by the end of 2010.
Comcast's Docsis 3.0 tier, called Extreme 50, offers 50 Mbits downstream and 5 Mbit/s upstream for $99.55 per month when bundled with video or voice service. It costs $116.95 as a standalone service. It's been rumored that Comcast may introduce a 100-Mbit/s wideband tier sometime this year. (See Comcast Trims Wideband Pricing and Comcast Lighting Up 100 Mbit/s?)
Smaller MSOs in Qwest's markets also have some Docsis 3.0 activity underway. Mediacom Communications Corp. plans to offer wideband in half its serviceable homes by the end of this year. Bresnan Communications LLC , which serves parts of Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and Utah, has not launched Docsis 3.0 yet, but it has been getting its cable modem termination systems (CMTSs) ready to deliver wideband services. (See Mediacom Gets Serious About Wideband and Bresnan's 'Insurance Policy' .)
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News