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February 25, 2008 2:57 PM

More details on Qwest's broadband plans

Posted by Brier Dudley

Qwest's hoping to increase its share of consumer broadband service to 45 percent from its current 32 percent, according to a presentation Chief Executive Ed Mueller made to analysts today, part of a series of investor presentations he's making.

Today's column mentioned one he's making Tuesday at the Merrill Lynch Communications Services Forum. Here's a link to a Webcast of today's presentation, and another link for Tuesday's show.

In the presentation materials today, Mueller said Qwest is planning fiber-to-the-node upgrades reaching 1.5 million homes in 23 markets, which will cost the company $175 per home. Fiber to the node means fiber is brought to neighborhood relay stations, which then connect to homes using existing wiring.

After testing the fiber system in Colorado, Qwest found the majority of customers moved to the faster tiers of service (up to 7 Mbps).

I haven't listened to the material yet, but the presentation slides don't say much about faster speeds up to 20 Mbps.

They do, however, say Qwest wants to continue its video delivery partnership, meaning it would rather resell satellite video services provided by DirectTV than offer broadband video over its network. That lessens the urgency of the company upgrading home broadband service to the 10-20 Mbps range it would need to deliver multiple streams of high-def video.

Here's a map showing the markets targeted for upgrades:

qwest map.JPG

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