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Broadband Internet Pricing Drops Below Dial-Up

Last year, I told you an inexpensive high-speed internet revolution was coming soon. But that relates to WiMax technology that allows you to connect at faster speeds and greater ranges than the current WiFi standard which should come soon. Until Intel starts mass-producing chips and equipment to take advantage of WiMax, however, there's no better time than right now to make the jump to broadband access.

Yesterday, SBC Communications, the nation's second largest phone company, slashed its pricing for DSL service to a rock-bottom $14.95 for new subscribers, the steepest discount ever offered by a major carrier, far below the $24 AOL charges monthly for dial-up access and on a par with other services like Netscape ($10) that claim to provide accelerated dial-up speeds. Experts believe SBC's move will force cable providers -- Time Warner, Cox and Comcast -- to be even more competitive for new customers than before.

It's certainly an interesting strategy considering consumers discarding land-line services for Internet providers like Vonage and mobile phones. And, cable companies got the leg up on the Internet provider wars in the mid 90s and still hold onto to a sizable 59 percent share of the broadband market.

There's only two caveats you need to know about SBC's cheap broadband deal:

  • You must also purchase land-line phone access that could be as cheap as $20 per month.
  • The $14.95 fee is locked in for only a year, but it's hard to imagine prices climbing beyond SBC's previous $20 monthly rate for broadband access.

CNET.com June 2, 2005

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