Qwest upgrading DSL across Spokane County

Internet speeds will more than double

Qwest Communications Inc. is upgrading its fiber network across Spokane County this summer, eventually doubling Internet speeds for residential or business customers.

Up to now, Qwest’s DSL service provided speeds of 1, 5 or 7 megabits per second for Web downloads. It’s been at a competitive disadvantage in comparison with much faster broadband options from Comcast Corp.

Qwest’s upgrades will give area customers three new choices: 12, 20 or ultimately 40 megabits per second, said company spokesman Bob Gravely.

The 40 mbps option would cost $110 per month for the first year when combined with Qwest home phone service, Gravely noted. It should appeal to businesses and to speed-dependent home users with a passion for gaming or HD movie streaming.

Once available, the 50 megabit DSL service will cost $50 for those who already have Qwest phone service. It will cost $40 for 20 megabits of DSL with phone service.

The company is rolling out the upgrades in a varied pattern, so it can’t offer clear dates by which each part of town will have those options, said Gravely.

Qwest has links at its Web site that list the DSL options for specific local addresses and explain which rates are available. Maximum DSL speeds will also depend on the proximity of an address to the neighborhood’s fiber hub, Gravely said.

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