RealTime IT News

Juno Mixes It Up with Broadband Services

Juno Online Services, Inc. Tuesday opened up another 39 new markets for its high-speed digital subscriber line services.

New services areas for the third largest fee-based Internet access provider in the U.S. include San Antonio, Indianapolis, Columbus, Memphis, and Milwaukee. Juno's DSL access plan, dubbed Juno Express is currently available in a total of 63 major U.S. markets.

Juno's DSL services are delivered though a business agreement with Covad Communications, Inc. . But Juno isn't betting the broadband bank on only providing DSL access.

In its mix of broadband services, Juno also supports high-speed wireless access through a collaborative deal with Metricom, Inc. . The firm also announced plans to begin offering fixed satellite broadband access through an alliance with Hughes Network Systems, and is in line to provide cable broadband services through agreements with Time Warner, Inc. and AT&T Corp. .

Wendy Rosenberg, Juno senior vice president in charge of the Juno Express rollout, said that home use of broadband services remains at an early stage of development for the firm.

"Although broadband adoption by consumers is still in the early stages, we believe that broadband represents the future of Internet access, and we are committed to making broadband services available to Juno subscribers nationwide," Rosenberg said. "The expansion of our DSL service into over three dozen new markets is a significant step toward that goal."

Juno Express service is available for $50 a month, which might be considered a disadvantage in markets where the ISP competes with incumbent telecom services that offer DSL access for $30 a month.

But Charles Ardai, Juno chief execute officer, said that price is not a factor when consumer's realize what most $30 offers do, and do not provide.

"Competitive pricing is important to us and I don't want to suggest that we've placed a premium price on Juno Express DSL services," Ardai said. "Most $30 DSL offers are for connectivity only, customers still pay another $20 for ISP services."

Ardai contends that Juno's market research is ongoing. By no means does he want to indicate that low-priced DSL offerings are all alike. Ardai cited a current Verizon Corp. offer that does not include Internet services. The total monthly fees for a Verizon DSL connection and Internet access from an ISP are about the same as Juno Express DSL access.

"There may be companies advertising lower prices for DSL services than Juno Express," Ardai said, "but broadband consumers need to be careful and compare apples, to apples. Asterisks and fine print on the low-priced offers need to be reviewed."

While most DSL providers pressed to deploy services in new markets in the short term, Juno believes it can compete in the long term by providing a range of broadband services, be it wired or wireless.

Ardai said DSL might have the early lead in broadband services, but that he expects the mix of high-speed services will change, and Juno Express is diversified to meet different broadband needs.

"DSL services will have the majority of market in the early days of broadband," Ardai said. "Geographic location will determine which format of high-speed access consumers choose, and some version of Juno Express will be there to provide DSL, cable, fixed wireless or satellite services."