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RealTime IT News

SBC Cuts DSL Promo Price

SBC Communications on Thursday pushed the pricing envelope for bundled broadband by announcing a $19.95 monthly plan for new customers who purchase a high-end calling plan.

SBC, which markets DSL high-speed services in partnership with Yahoo , said the $19.95 a month plan, effective Nov. 1, is available for new broadband subscribers or for customers looking to switch from cable to DSL.

To qualify for the low-priced offering, customers must purchase SBC's $48.95 a month unlimited calling plan, the company said. The new plan -- SBC Yahoo DSL Express -- offers download speeds of 384 Kbps to 1.5 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 384 Kbps. It also comes with increased e-mail account storage, safety and security features and a parental controls package.

The $19.95 price point is available for the full year and is the cheapest bundled high-speed package available from the Baby Bells. SBC rivals Comcast and BellSouth have also been aggressively reaching out to new customers with price-based promotional discounts.

BellSouth, for example, hawks a $9.95 package for six months that offers limited-speed connectivity. By contrast, high-speed access from cable companies cost in the neighborhood of $30 to $35 for monthly service.

SBC's latest move follows the launch of a $1.99-per-month Wi-Fi service for customers who subscribe to SBC Yahoo DSL. The reduced rate -- which is less than $29 for both -- requires a one-year commitment.

SBC companies account for more than 4.7 million DSL lines in service and projections are for more than 5 million DSL subscribers by the end of the year.

Separately, Comcast said it added 549,100 new high-speed subscribers in the third quarter this year to help improve its financial results. The company said it now has 6.5 million broadband subscribers.

Cox Communications also announced growth in high-speed subscriptions this quarter.