Qwest Attacks Comcast With 40 Mbit/s

Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) unveiled VDSL-2 access speeds of 40 Mbit/s downstream and 20 Mbit/s upstream today, a move that puts pressure on cable's speedy Docsis 3.0 cable modem platform. (See Qwest Doubles DSL Downstream.)

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

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:00:22 PM
re: Qwest Attacks Comcast With 40 Mbit/s

Now, I am not asking for a lot here.  VDSL2, to reach 20 Mb/s upstream, needs to be in the 30a profile.  This is not magic, just they way the standard works.  Are they really claiming that 2M homes are capable of being connected via the 30a profile of VDSL2?  If so, have you looked (peaked) at the loop lengths supported by this profile at those speeds?

The old NLC gear was placed around 4500 ft (max) from dwellings.  This is outside the loop reach of the 30a profile.  It could be in the 17a profile, but that would not provide a 20Mb/s upstream.

Unless they are placing electronics 100 meters (or less) from the home, this 20M upstream service is going nowhere.




Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:00:20 PM
re: Qwest Attacks Comcast With 40 Mbit/s

Hey Seven,

Thanks, I've asked Qwest for a firm answer on that one, but considering the amount of time I've been waiting for a response tells me that it's highly  unlikely (as you've already guessed) that all the 2M homes in the Qwest FTTN footprint can get the the best speed tiers.  But I'll share that info as soon as I get my hands on it.


stryderbsd 12/5/2012 | 3:59:33 PM
re: Qwest Attacks Comcast With 40 Mbit/s

Most loops above 3000ft won't see more than a few meg of upstream, but on loops less than 1200ft we are seeing close to 60mbit down and 18mbit up with 17A. This is on the same dslam Qwest uses and with the same line card they are using to provide VDSL2.



paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:59:31 PM
re: Qwest Attacks Comcast With 40 Mbit/s




1 - The Qwest NLC boxes that they are replacing with Adtran were done on 4500 ft loops.

2 - Try that rate reach test again with 25 VDSL2 lines active in 1 binder group.  Heck try it with 2.




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