Qwest Plans $75M DSL Push

Responding to demand for high-speed Internet and bundled communications services, Qwest will invest $75 million to expand its digital subscriber line service in the 14 states it covers.

The initiative will boost the telecom’s DSL footprint by more than 20 percent, to nearly 1,550 new neighborhoods. Approximately 900,000 additional homes and businesses will become potential subscribers.

In addition, Qwest is making technological changes to many of its phone lines (DSL service uses existing copper phone wires), making DSL services available where it was not previously. As a result, an additional 100,000 homes and businesses will have access to Qwest DSL service.

“Our customers want reliable, affordable high-speed access to the Internet,” said Richard C. Notebaert, Qwest chairman and CEO. “We’re meeting this need by aggressively deploying additional DSL service throughout the Qwest territory.”

Qwest views DSL as a key to its future growth. They can charge more for the service than slower dial-up, and the larger pipe allows could spur demand for premium services such as streaming video, music and gaming applications.

The build-out will begin later this year. Qwest serves Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Other regional and national service providers are also selling DSL aggressively.

Verizon, which operates on the East Coast, added 160,000 DSL lines in the first quarter 2003, raising its total to 1.83 million DSL lines overall. And during the same period, Atlanta Internet service provider EarthLink switched on 112,000 DSL connections.

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