As a sure sign that the souring economy is causing broadband issues, Qwest is planning to ramp down deployment of their FTTN-based ASDL2+ service. While one of their supplies cites the coming winter weather as the reason for the slow-down, but analysts are reading between the lines that plunging landline subscriptions paired with a slowing economy means rough rides ahead for telcos. AT&T is also seeing some effects of slowing subscriber demand. It’s good news for ISPs, though: the wholesale price of bandwidth continues to drop and consumers are more willing to drop cable TV than high-speed Internet, especially as Comcast continues to raise rates.
Meanwhile, details of Comcast’s new DOCSIS 3.0 deployments is coming to light and, while good news for current subscribers or those switching from DSL, it’s hardly competitive with offerings from UTOPIA. In addition to a 50Mbps/5Mbps tier at $150/mo, Comcast plans to upgrade current subscribers to 12Mbps/2Mbps at $42.95/mo and offer a 22Mbps/5Mbps tier at $62.95/mo to compete with a similar offering from Verizon. Compare that to a 15Mbps/15Mbps plan at $40/mo or 50Mbps/50Mbps for $55/mo from either MSTAR or XMission. Just be thankful you aren’t a SureWest customer. They charge around $192/mo for a 50Mbps connection.