Qwest Building FTTN, Plans 20Mbps DSL

Remember the RFPs that Qwest put out earlier this year for fiber optic equipment? Apparently they plan on going somewhere with it. During their quarterly conference call to discuss earnings (which, by the way, paints a poor financial picture for Qwest), it came out that they're planning on dropping about $300M on an FTTN network. The plan? To use ASDL2+ or VDSL to give about 1.5M people 20Mbps connections.

This sounds impressive until you consider what the other major telcos are doing. Verizon is planning to spend $23B to build out FIOS and AT&T has committed $6.5B for U-Verse deployments. Qwest also has no plans to offer IPTV over this new network like Verizon and AT&T, sticking to their partnership with DirecTV instead. They also plan to only have this available to about 24% of their customers by the end of 2008, a very slow build-out. Any bets that we'll still see very slow upload speeds? My magic 8-ball says "count on it".

Of course, this is all a case of "too little, too late". Qwest has entered the fiber game late and UTOPIA providers clean their clock on speed and price. I guess they can always compete with Comcast, right?

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