Looking to put a nail in its own coffin, Qwest is now offering 20Mbps DSL service in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area for $119.99 per month ($109.99 per month for the first year) in order to compete with Comcast‘s high speed internet service, which offers speeds of up to 12, 16, or 50Mbps for $42.95, $52.95, or $152.95, respectively.
Qwest’s 12Mbps offering, for comparison, carries a regular price of $69.99 per month, about 34% more expensive than Comcast’s comparable plan. To be fair, you can lock in 12-Mbps Qwest service at $56.99 per month if you sign a two year contract. You also get $5 off of your monthly internet service if you have a landline through Qwest.
According to the Star Tribune, “The higher speeds are made possible by installing fiber-optic lines as far as Qwest’s neighborhood ‘nodes.’ Qwest can’t afford to run fiber-optic lines all the way to customers’ homes, so copper wire handles the last part of the trip.” Classy.
I tried both Qwest and Comcast when I lived in Minneapolis. I went with Qwest’s basic $34.99 per month plan (1.5Mbps) to try to save a little money but after taxes and modem rental and all that stuff, I was still paying $50 per month. And it was slooooow.
It’s really the lesser of two evils here. Comcast charges up the wazoo for internet service, but at least it’s pretty fast. Paying over $100 per month for 20Mbps DSL seems downright ludicrous, though. I’m really interested to see what happens to DSL providers once WiMax starts rolling out everywhere.