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US West Drives Down Cost of DSL Access

US West plans to cut the price of its Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line service by 25 percent in an effort to quickly expand the telecommunication company's DSL subscriber base.

The price-cutting initiative is designed to make "always on" ADSL Internet services more affordable for millions of U.S. homes. US West's marketing also plan includes free test drives of their DSL service speeds at local retail outlets throughout their market area.

"Our goal is to open the information superhighway to all US West customers, and bring it to Main Streets across our region," said Solomon Trujillo, president and chief executive officer, US West.

"Everyone should have a chance to test-drive ultra-fast, 'always-on' Internet access. It's a truly transformational experience. It takes the wait out of the web, and makes the Internet as convenient and easy-to-use as the telephone."

In addition to lowering the price of their ADSL monthly service fees from $40 to just under $30, US West also announced that the DSL services may be combined with unlimited Internet access for just under $48 a month.

"This is breakthrough opportunity for customers, and a breakaway move in the marketplace," said Joe Zell, president, US West !NTERPRISE Networking.

"Today, we're shifting into high gear and giving people a chance to test-drive our ultra-fast Internet service. We were the first in the nation to broadly deploy ADSL, and we're going to be the first to drive it to mass market with the pricing and guaranteed ease-of-installation customers are looking for."

At the end of 1998, Dataquest projected that there were about 50,000 total DSL customers in the U.S. Currently, US West reports provide access for about 24,000 DSL subscribers. Based on the data, US West reports that the company is the leader in DSL deployment in the U.S.

The aggressive pricing move is expected to drive market penetration of DSL services for US West and enhance the company's ability to compete with cable access. US West has already installed more than 1,000 DSLAMS to support DSL access in central offices that serve some 5.5 million customer households across its region.

"The demand for our MegaBit ADSL has been remarkable since it debuted last year, but many people are still studying their options for high-speed Internet access," said Zell.

"MegaBit clearly provides a better alternative because it gives dedicated bandwidth, more secure connections and customers can choose from many Internet service providers. Now price is another reason to select MegaBit."



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