Used to be that DSL was more expensive than cable modem service, but had lower maximum speed caps which pretty much made it a no-other-option choice for folks who couldn’t get cable modem service in their area. That’s been slowly changing over the past couple of years in the form of both slightly higher speed caps (many services offer a 3Mbit connection if you’re close enough to your CO) and much cheaper pricing.
SBC has been offering DSL for only $19.95 a month if you signed up for a one year contract for quite awhile now and it’s helped them to expand their subscriber base considerably. So much so that SBC has decided to cut their price by an additional 25% making it the cheapest broadband option out there:
SBC said on Wednesday it would offer broadband service for $14.95 per month to new customers who sign up online, $5 less than its previous lowest price. The deal, which requires a one-year contract, makes SBC competitive with many dial-up Internet services and is among the lowest prices for broadband in the United States.
Executives at SBC say they have a two- to three-year window to add as many digital subscriber lines as possible, before cable companies complete their rollout of telephone services and pursue SBC customers with voice, video and data packages.
“It’s about market share,” said SBC Chairman and Chief Executive Edward Whitacre in an interview last Thursday with Reuters. “The sooner we get there and the bigger piece of market we get, the better off we are. It’s essentially us and the cable companies vying for that.”
The cable company we get our Internet service from, Wide Open West, has a some pretty reasonable prices all things considered and the 4Mbit connection we’re currently using runs us around $30 a month or so. The $14.95 DSL pricing from SBC is for a maximum of 1.5Mbit while their 3Mbit service will run around $24.99 which is fairly competitive with what our cable company offers. If you’re not the sort of user who requires a lot of bandwidth (e.g. you’re not a big user of P2P file sharing services) and you just want to get away from your sluggish dial-up connection then the $14.95 offer from SBC should be just the ticket to lure you into broadband assuming it’s available in your area.
I can understand SBC’s desire to get folks hooked on their services, though, as the cable companies are slowly eating into their market share for phone services as VOIP is rolled out in more and more places. WOW just started offering the service to customers here in Michigan and we’re debating signing up as it’s cheaper than what we’re paying currently MCI for phone service. SBC isn’t particularly happy with the Jenkins household these days.