US telecommunications carrier Qwest Communication has unveiled plans to spend $300 million in the next two years to take its fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) network to an additional 1.5 million homes. Qwest plans to offer 20 Mb/s broadband speeds, although the company has not specified if it will implement VSDL or ADSL2+ technology.
This announcement came as a part of Qwest’s third quarter earnings report, which tallied with the AT&T and Verizon’s trend of indicating a slowdown in the growth of broadband. In 2007, Qwest plans to invest $70-100 million in the FTTN network expansion, followed by $200 million the following year.
With pair-bonding technology, it may be possible to double that speed, said Ed Mueller, chief executive officer at Qwest about its offering. It’s our belief that there will be plenty of products and services that will flow over high-speed bandwidth.
With regards to the company’s video bundle option, Mr Mueller said that it did not intend to pursue IPTV like AT&T and would continue to rely on bundled DirecTV service and portal content as their video play.
Qwest’s $300 million investment plan is at the lower end of the spectrum compared to the billion dollar investments of other telecom players in the US market. AT&T has announced $6.5 billion earmarked for its U-Verse VSDL deployment, while Verizon has plans to spend $23 billion for FiOS Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service over the next five years.
The FTTH market is growing in the US. According to the study sponsored by the Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), 1.34 million homes are connected to the internet via end-to-end fibre, and FTTH networks pass 7.9 million homes as of March 2007. The corresponding figures in March 2006 were 671,000 connections and 4.1 million homes passed.
Source: ComputerWire daily updates