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Qwest Offers Six-Month Price Break On 'Heavy Duty' DSL

Qwest Communications, looking to fight cable's expanding ultra-fast DOCSIS 3.0 services, is offering special six-month promotional pricing for DSL packages -- for as little as $14.99 per month -- under the new "Heavy Duty Internet" brand.

The special offers, which emphasize reliability, security and out-of-home Wi-Fi access provided through AT&T, require customers to also subscribe to Qwest home-phone service.

Qwest's Heavy Duty Internet is offered at speed tiers from 1.5 Mbps to 40 Mbps at an introductory rate of either $14.99 or $19.99 per month for six months, depending on market and availability. The telco announced the limited-time offer on Thursday.

Following the promotional period, monthly pricing for each of the tiers is as follows: $30 for 1.5 Mbps; $35 for 7 Mbps; $40 for 12 Mbps; $50 for 20 Mbps; and $80 for 40 Mbps. Prices for customers without Qwest home-phone service will be $10 higher per month.

The broadband packages include Qwest Wi-Fi, with access to wireless hotspots nationwide provided through AT&T. In addition, the services include Qwest @Ease, a suite of backup, security and support services designed to make it easier to control, protect and connect digital devices that includes Norton AntiVirus Online and 2 GB of online backup at no charge.

"What we see our competitors talking about is speed," said Todd Townsend, Qwest's vice president of marketing and e-business. "But people are understanding they don't necessarily need 100 Megabits per second... We're stepping back and saying, ‘These are things cable doesn't offer.'"

The telco provides more info on the promotions at

Qwest had about 3 million broadband customers at end of March. Separately, the telco is in the process of being acquired by CenturyLink in a stock-swap worth $10.6 billion. As of Dec. 31, 2009, CenturyLink and Qwest together served about 5 million broadband customers.