$15 a month for slow pokey 1.5MBPS service isn’t a bad deal for single line VoIP, basic surfing and the occasional video download. Actually, we’ve seen this before, but not lately since US broadband providers have been inching prices upward the last couple of years. It’s should be a real money maker too, considering the cost of delivering this service level is pennies and it could capture the remaining dial up hold outs. There’s one gotcha – the bill automatically goes up after 12 moths, so mark you calendar if you sign up. I wonder if the cable guys will respond or ignore.
In an apparent response to a souring economy and strong triple play competition from cable operators in some markets, Qwest appears to be bringing back some promotional DSL tiers for new customers. According to the telco, they’re once again offering their 1.5Mbps Qwest Connect Silver High-Speed DSL service for $14.99 a month for a year — after which users will pay $39.99 a month. The telco is also offering their 7Mbps Connect Platinum DSL tier for $24.99 a month for a year — after which users pay regularly priced at $49.99 a month. (DSL Reports)
With last mile infrastructure that should be on life support, AT&T and Comcast keep nursing it along instead of just laying fiber. Never mind the fact they’ll need to do it soon anyway. The dead end comes with pair / coax bonding techniques and not every customer has 2 usable pairs / cables.
Comcast over the weekend announced that they’ve struck a deal to buy Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) gear from Arris Group, as the cable giant speeds up their DOCSIS 3.0 plans. Last month, Comcast launched their first pre-certification DOCSIS 3.0 market, offering $150, 50Mbps/5Mbps service in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. (Broadband Reports)
Though I’ve been unable to get official launch plans out of AT&T yet, our users are reporting that the telco is now offering dual-HD streams in a number of U-Verse markets. After seeing an initial launch in the St. Louis area, users in parts of Michigan and Georgia are also seeing the update. (Broadband Reports)
Coax and twisted pair served us well over their long and productive lives. I hope they will be allowed to die with dignity instead of trying to push them even further. C’mon duopoly, it’s time to let them go!
Qwest formally announced their anticipated FTTN service for 23 markets today. The price is high and availability was not clearly defined in the press release. Here’s a few highlights:
- Qwest Connect Quantum: This is a premium fiber-optic Internet service with connection speeds of up to 20 Mbps, for lightning-quick broadband access for a bundled price of $99.99 per month. This is the fastest connection speed available in most cities in the Qwest residential service region. Quantum is designed for serious broadband users who want to optimize speed for streaming video, high-resolution photography, file-sharing, online gaming and other bandwidth-intensive applications. Quantum is backed by Qwest’s Price for Life and 100% 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantees.
- Qwest Connect Titanium: With connection speeds of up to 12 Mbps for a bundled price of only $46.99 per month, along with the Price for Life and 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantees, Titanium is the best value available in the Qwest residential service region. The service offers super-high speeds ideal for customers interested in online music, video and keeping in touch with friends and family. At less than $50 per month, Titanium offers robust speed at the best value.
- Availability: Qwest Connect Quantum and Titanium will be available in 23 of Qwest’s top markets across 10 states in 2008 as Qwest continues to execute its phased rollout of fiber-optic technology to the neighborhood. Customers can go to www.qwest.com and enter their zip code or phone number to check availability and sign up for notifications regarding the availability of the faster speeds in their neighborhoods. (Qwest)
At $99.95 the top tier service isn’t cheap, but I’ll bet there are plenty of takers. It makes me wonder why people like AT&T management are so afraid of the supposedly low margins from a big dumb pipe.
Qwest is offering 20MBPS DSL to some customers and is investing $300 million to bring it to a few more this year. Unlike AT&T who is pretty much devoting new bandwidth to deliver pay TV, Qwest will sell you the whole pipe as it were, but at a rather princely price:
The price for 20Mbps/1Mbps service without phone service is $105, a price that jumps to $115 per month after a year. The price for 12Mbps/1Mbps service in that market is $52 a month, a price that jumps to $65 a month after 12 months. Still no official announcement from the company, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see it surface this week. (DSL reports)
It would seem that Darth V wants to give a few of his customers an incentive to remain in the dark side. While the 7MBS down is pretty pathetic in comparison to the rest of the first world, it’s twice the speed they have now. After all, there is no rush to FIOS all of your customers when your main competior is Comcast who has also kept prices high and done little to improve service. It’s time for some real competition.
(more on GigaOm)
My grandmother once told me how Ma Belle used to bundle: a pleasant person would greet you, connect your call by name and give you the time and temperature – all gratis with your service. Of course, non-local calls were very pricey then and most people wrote letters instead. Anyway, I digress. Someone at AT&T seems to have a bundle fetish. Attractive new offerings are always advertised with pricing in “bundles”. And the bundles when bundled up amount to a bundle of cash. Now the latest is a small boost in DSL speed, and the price in ads is the price only offered as part of a bundle.
Quoting Broadband Reports: Though U-Verse users on very short loop lengths say their VDSL service is capable of great speeds, most users are distance limited, restricting their total bandwidth to 25Mbps. AT&T reserves the majority of that for video, leaving users with only 6Mbps of usable bandwidth — not particularly impressive for a “next generation” service. (more…)